Abstract

The effects of optical feedback on the performance of Pb1−xSnxSe semiconductor lasers are reported. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate that uncontrolled optical feedback can occur from optics external to the laser cavity and that these external optical elements can result in the formation of a composite cavity. This composite cavity can sustain a number of narrow closely spaced emission modes with the spectral characteristics of these modes dependent upon the parameters of the cavity. With weak feedback, the spectral width of the amplitude envelope of the new lasing modes resembles that of the original laser mode with no optical feedback. With strongly coupled feedback the envelope of the external cavity modes substantially broadens the apparent linewidth of the laser. Results will be presented that show that these effects can be eliminated, and, moreover, they offer the potential for obtaining spectrally narrow single-mode emission from Pb–salt lasers through the use of carefully designed external cavities.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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