Abstract

We show that a laser diode that is subject to optical feedback from a short external cavity (EC) may exhibit types of regular pulse packages (RPPs) that differ in their underlying intensity behavior. As we modify the EC’s length, the laser injection current, or both, the RPP dynamics exhibit either a monotonically decaying intensity from pulse to pulse or a first increasing and then decreasing pulse intensity. The mechanism underlying the transition from one RPP type to the other type is found to be related to the carrier excursion in the system’s trajectory among EC modes. Furthermore, we show that the change of the intensity behavior inside the RPP anticipates the intensity dynamics that are typical for a long-EC regime, i.e., low-frequency fluctuations (LFFs). We then unveil a transition between the short and the long EC dynamic regime. The link between these dynamic states is further confirmed by analysis of the dependency of the period of RPP dynamics on the injection current, which is found to be similar to that of the mean time between irregular bursts of pulses in the LFF dynamics.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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