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Advances in Optical Technologies
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 469627, 16 pages
Review Article

Nonlinear Dynamics of Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers

1Department of Applied Physics and Photonics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
2Laboratory of Optics and Spectroscopy, Institute of Solid State Physics, 72 Tzarigradsko Chaussee Boulevard, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria
3Supélec, Optics & Electronics (OPTEL), LMOPS EA-4423, 2 rue Edouard Belin, F-57070 Metz, France
4Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Public University of Navarra, 31006 Pamplona, Spain

Received 6 June 2011; Accepted 28 July 2011

Academic Editor: Rainer Michalzik

Copyright © 2011 Krassimir Panajotov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonlinear dynamics of Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) induced by optical injection, optical feedback, current modulation and mutual coupling is reviewed. Due to the surface emission and cylindrical symmetry VCSELs lack strong polarization anisotropy and may undergo polarization switching. Furthermore, VCSELs may emit light in multiple transverse modes. These VCSEL properties provide new features to the rich nonlinear dynamics induced by an external perturbation. We demonstrate for the case of orthogonal optical injection that new Hopf bifurcation on a two-polarization-mode solution delimits the injection locking region and that polarization switching and injection locking of first-order transverse mode lead to a new resonance tongue for large positive detunings. Similarly, the underlying polarization mode competition leads to chaotic-like behavior in case of gain switching and the presence of two transverse modes additionally reduces the possibility of regular dynamics. The bistable property of VCSEL makes it possible to investigate very fundamental problems of bistable systems with time-delay, such as the coherence resonance phenomenon. We also demonstrate that the synchronization quality between unidirectionally coupled VCSELs can be significantly enhanced when the feedback-induced chaos in the master laser involves both orthogonal LP fundamental transverse modes.