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Opt Express. 2014 Mar 10;22(5):5651-8. doi: 10.1364/OE.22.005651.

Linewidth enhancement factor in semiconductor lasers subject to various external optical feedback conditions.


The linewidth enhancement factor α of a semiconductor laser under the influences of optical feedback with different feedback strengths, external cavity lengths, and feedback phases are studied both experimentally and theoretically. The value of α is determined from the minimum of the Hopf bifurcation curve when the laser is subject to both optical feedback and optical injection. In the experiment, a pellicle beamsplitter mounted on a PZT stage placed on a linear translation stage is used as the reflector, where the external cavity length can be adjusted continuously from the long cavity regime to the short cavity regime with phase accuracy. With a moderate feedback strength, α is found to increase as the feedback strength increases. Moreover, while α is insensitive to the feedback phase in the long cavity regime, it can be tuned continuously in the short cavity regime when varying the phase. A normalized variation range of 21.59% is obtained experimentally at an external cavity length of 1.5 cm, which can be further enhanced by shortening the external cavity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first detailed study of α from the long to the short cavity regime in a semiconductor laser subject to optical feedback. More particularly, the continuous tuning of α under phase variation is demonstrated the first time.

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