Abstract

A rigorous analytic Bloch wave formalism is presented to calculate and analyze the photon lifetime of distributed feedback (DFB) lasers. By expressing the electromagnetic fields in the DFB structure as a superposition of two counterpropagating Bloch waves, the DFB can be considered as a Fabry–Pérot cavity for the Bloch waves. Analytic formulas for the laser threshold condition and the photon lifetime of DFB lasers are then derived, which have the same simple forms and physical insight as those for Fabry–Pérot lasers. Numerical results are presented and interpreted along with comparisons with those obtained from the coupled mode theory and the transfer matrix method.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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