With the development of high power ultrafast laser passively mode-locked by a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM), the damage threshold and degeneration mechanism of the SESAM become more and more important. One way to reduce the maximum electric field inside the active part of the SESAM is the use of a dielectric coating on the top of the semiconductor structure. With Fresnel formula, optical transfer matrix, and optical thin film theory, the electric field distribution and reflectance spectrum can be simulated. We introduce the design principles of SESAM including the dependence of reflectance spectrum on dielectric function of absorber, and investigate the dependences of the electric field distribution, modulation depth, reflectance spectrum, and the relative value of incident light power at the top quantum well of SESAM on the number of SiO<sub>2</sub>/Ta<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> layers.
© 2009 Chinese Optics LettersPDF Article