Abstract

Microscopic many-body theory is employed to analyze the mode-locking dynamics of a vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser with a saturable absorber. The quantum wells are treated microscopically through the semiconductor Bloch equations and the light field using Maxwell’s equations. Higher-order correlation effects such as polarization dephasing and carrier relaxation are approximated using effective rates fitted to second Born–Markov evaluations. The theory is evaluated numerically for vertical external cavity surface-emitting lasers with resonant periodic gain media. For a given gain, the influence of the loss conditions on the very-short pulse generation in the range above 100 fs is analyzed. Optimized operational parameters are identified.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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