Abstract

A coupled-mode formulation is presented for parallel cavities of a laser array. The interaction between neighboring elements is via diffraction resulting from perturbation of the boundary conditions. Each high-reflectivity cavity mirror is surrounded by a much-lower-reflectivity background, which, for practical purposes, is considered to be zero. The formulation applies both to ordinary laser arrays and to vertical-cavity laser arrays with high-contrast laterally patterned mirrors. Some examples are considered and compared against exact numerical calculations.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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