Feedback induced polarisation switching in vertical cavity surface emitting lasers

J. Houlihan, L. Lewis, G. Huyet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse the behaviour of a bistable vertical cavity semiconductor laser under the influence of optical feedback. Without feedback, this laser emits either vertically or horizontally polarised light with a region where polarisation bistability is observed. In this paper, we show that weak optical feedback can induce polarisation switching regardless of the polarisation of the re-injected light. These switches are quite similar to those observed in the current noise induced case. However, remarkable differences appear in the probability distribution of switching times depending on the polarisation state of the re-injected light. Experimental results detailing these differences are presented and the possible contributing mechanisms discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number1-6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Feedback
  • Instability
  • Lasers
  • Polarisation
  • Semiconductor


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