Static and dynamic measurements are performed with GaAs oxide-confined vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), using multimode fibers with a core diameter of 50 and 62.5 m and different numerical apertures (NAs). They show that a small NA can have a severe impact on the eye opening and thus also on the bit-error rate. The measurements are analyzed with a spatiotemporal two-dimensional (2-D) multimode VCSEL model. The required parameter extraction for the model is verified with small-and large-signal measurements. The analysis shows that the change of the eye opening can be explained by the interaction between the mode-and the current-injection profile, carrier diffusion, and intermodal gain compression (IGC). IGC increases differences in the modal power distribution caused by the interaction between the mode profiles and the current-injection profile. Carrier diffusion is able to compensate these increased differences of the modal power distribution. Its impact, however, on dynamic changes caused by IGC is moderate.
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