Nonlinear dynamics of a laser diode with optical feedback systems subject to modulation

Jon S. Lawrence, Deb M. Kane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


The nonlinear dynamic behavior of a direct frequency-modulated diode laser with strong optical feedback is examined and compared to a laser diode subject to electro-optically modulated, strong optical feedback. Direct modulation is achieved by sinusoidal modulation of the diode laser injection current. Electro-optic modulation is achieved by applying a sinusoidal voltage to an intracavity phase modulating element. The output state (characterized by the output power versus time, the intensity noise spectrum and the optical frequency spectrum) for both types of modulation is dependent on the ratio of the modulation frequency to the external cavity resonant frequency, and the modulation power. A number of distinct states are observed: conventional amplitude modulation (with FM spectra); multimode, low-noise amplitude modulation; multimode, high-noise amplitude modulation; periodic limit-cycle operation; quasi-periodicity; chaos; low-frequency fluctuations; and mode-locking. There are significant differences between the direct and electro-optic frequency-modulation cases. The onset of the dynamic instability is characterized as a noisy period-one oscillation for direct modulation and a low-frequency fluctuation for intracavity electro-optic modulation. Phase portraits produced experimentally with the use of a digital phosphor oscilloscope are shown to agree well with those constructed from output power versus time data. This represents an experimental method for examining the dynamics phase portraits in real-time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2002 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics. This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of Macquarie University’s products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.

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