Abstract

Recent experiments on similarly shaped polymer microcavity lasers show a dramatic difference in the far-field emission patterns. We show, for different deformations of the ellipse, quadrupole and hexadecapole, that the large differences in the far-field emission patterns are explained by the differing ray dynamics corresponding to each shape. Analyzing the differences in the appropriate phase space for ray motion, it is shown that the differing geometries of the unstable manifolds of periodic orbits are the decisive factors in determining the far-field pattern. Surprisingly, we find that strongly chaotic ray dynamics is compatible with highly directional emission in the far field.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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