Optical instabilities in sodium vapor and vertical cavity surface emitting lasers
AuthorGrantham, Jeffrey Wayne.
AdvisorGibbs, Hyatt M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation investigates three different optical instabilities: cw conical emission, bifurcations of optical transverse solitary waves, and asymmetric gain modification in a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL). The first two instabilities occur in sodium vapor while the third occurs in a new type of semiconductor laser. For the conical emission instability, the first comparison and agreement between theory and experiment is given. The conical emission process is modeled as a series of nonlinear effects including self-trapping of the pump beam, Doppler-broadened Raman-gain amplification of Doppler-broadened resonance fluorescence, propagational four-wave mixing, and diffraction and pump-induced refraction of the new frequencies. Each step of the emission process is thoroughly examined and explained. Detailed comparisons are made between experimental observables and numerical calculations including near-field and far-field spatial profiles, frequency spectra, and cone angles. All comparisons show good agreement. In a different but related experiment, bifurcations of optical transverse solitary waves are studied for one-way propagation through a sodium vapor cell. Two types of phase encoding seed transverse bifurcations which result in transverse cell-exit profiles with the beauty rivaling that of a kaleidoscope. The cell-exit profiles are stationary in time, reproduce completely when the power or frequency is scanned, and agree well with one-way computations. Evidence is also presented for the first observation of a double-peaked Raman gain. In the third experiment, a temporal instability is examined in a GaAs VCSEL. Strong evidence is presented for an asymmetric gain modification induced when a strong optical signal is injected into the Fabry-Perot transmission peak of the VCSEL while it is lasing. This gain modification results in increased absorption on the high frequency side of the injected signal and increased gain on the low frequency side as manifested by the formation of an optical sideband. The frequency of the sideband depends on the intensity of the injected signal with frequencies (> 50 GHz) well beyond the predicted relaxation oscillation frequency being observed. Very efficient nondegenerate four-wave mixing is also observed.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences