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Complex nonlinear dynamics of polarization and transverse modes in a broad-area VCSEL
preprintposted on 2023-01-10, 02:30 authored by Stefan Bittner, Marc Sciamanna
Lasers can exhibit nonlinear and chaotic dynamics driven by the interaction of multiple lasing modes, and investigating the different scenarios of mode competition and bifurcations of their dynamics is of great interest on a fundamental level as well as in view of applications. We study the dynamics of a broad-area vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) in solitary continuous-wave operation with a comprehensive investigation of its polarization state, lasing spectra, near-field distributions, and temporal dynamics. Fluctuations at the frequency of birefringence splitting and other frequency components develop in a series of bifurcations. The bifurcations coincide with changes of the transverse lasing modes and/or the polarization state, demonstrating the importance of both the spatial and polarization degrees of freedom for mode competition. As a consequence, the inherent nonlinear dynamics of broad-area VCSELs is significantly more complex than the dynamics of VCSELs with a single spatial mode.