Abstract

We study the effect of cavity topology on the nonlinear dynamics of additive-pulse mode-locked (APM) lasers configured in the Fabry–Perot and Michelson geometries. In experiments the Fabry–Perot laser often exhibits such behaviors as period doubling and quasiperiodicity as the nonlinearity is increased, whereas the Michelson APM (M-APM) exhibits none of these effects. Numerical studies confirm that the M-APM appears to be more resistant to such behavior and thus is more tolerant to excessive nonlinearity in the control cavity. Using the concepts of intensity- and phase-dependent two-beam and multiple-beam interference, we obtain a general empirical rule connecting cavity topology to pulse train instabilities for fast saturable absorber mode-locked lasers employing coupled cavities.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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