We investigate the operational principle of mode-locking in monolithic semiconductor lasers incorporating coupled-resonator optical waveguides. The size of mode-locked lasers operating at tens of GHz repetition frequencies can be drastically reduced owing to the significantly decreased group velocity of light. The dynamics of such devices are analyzed numerically based on a coupled-oscillator model with the gain, loss, spontaneous emission, nearest-neighbor coupling and amplitude phase coupling (as described by the linewidth enhancement factor α) taken into account. It is demonstrated that active mode-locking can be achieved for moderate α parameter values. Simulations also indicate that large α parameters may destabilize the mode-locking behavior and result in irregular pulsations, which nevertheless can be effectively suppressed by incorporating detuning of individual cavity resonant frequencies in the device design.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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