Fully microscopic many-body calculations are used to study the influence of strong sub-picosecond pulses on the carrier distributions and corresponding optical response in saturable absorbers used for mode-locking - semiconductor (quantum well) saturable absorber mirrors (SESAMs) and single layer graphene based saturable absorber mirrors (GSAMs). Unlike in GSAMs, the saturation fluence and recovery time in SESAMs show a strong spectral dependence. While the saturation fluence in the SESAM is minimal at the excitonic bandgap, the optimal recovery time and least pulse distortion due to group delay dispersion are found for excitation higher in the first subband. For excitation near the SESAM bandgap, the saturation fluence is about one tenth of that in the GSAM. At energies above the bandgap, the fluences in both systems become similar. A strong dependence of the saturation fluence on the pulse width in both systems is caused by carrier relaxation during the pulse. The recovery time in graphene is found to be about two to four times faster than that in the SESAMs. The occurrence of negative differential transmission in graphene is shown to be caused by dopant related carriers. In SESAMs, a negative differential transmission is found when exciting below the excitonic resonance where excitation induced dephasing leads to an enhancement of the absorption. Comparisons of the simulation data to the experiment show a very good quantitative agreement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)