Theory of a semiconductor laser.

Murray Sargent, Stephan W. Koch, Weng W. Chow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper summarizes a simple single-mode theory of a semiconductor laser and two kinds of multimode extensions. The theories are based on an quasi-equilibrium Fermi-Dirac model of a two-band semiconductor laser gain medium. We include cavity boundary conditions and find the laser single-mode steady-state oscillation intensity. The question as to when sidemodes can build up leads to consideration of a theory of multiwave mixing in the semiconductor medium. This theory is also useful in saturation spectroscopy and phase conjugation using such media, but it does not predict the saturation behavior of the sidemodes. We mention a third-order multimode theory of the laser that allows for sidemode saturation and includes the many-body effects of band-gap renormalization and Coulomb enhancement. These multimode theories assume that the intermode beat frequencies are small compared to the carrier-carrier scattering rate, an assumption that should be valid for external-mirror semiconductor lasers. Using a simple model for the beat frequencies comparable to the carrier-carrier scattering rate, we find two-level inhomogeously broadened sidemode gain and coupling coefficients. Population pulsations and spectral hole burning play approximately equal roles in this theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsNasser Peygambarian
PublisherPubl by Int Soc for Optical Engineering
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)0819402575
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990
EventNonlinear Optical Materials and Devices for Photonic Switching - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 16 1990Jan 17 1990

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherNonlinear Optical Materials and Devices for Photonic Switching
CityLos Angeles, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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