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Dynamics and interaction of laser cavity solitons in broad-area semiconductor lasers

Ackemann, T. and Jimenez, J. and Noblet, Y. and Radwell, N. and Ren, G. and Paulau, P.V. and McIntyre, C. and Oppo, G.-L. and Toomey, J. P. and Kane, D. M. (2016) Dynamics and interaction of laser cavity solitons in broad-area semiconductor lasers. In: Nonlinear Optical Cavity Dynamics. Wiley InterScience, pp. 41-76. ISBN 9783527413324

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This chapter reviews fundamentals and dynamical properties of spatial laser cavity solitons realized in broad-area vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) with frequency-selective feedback from a volume Bragg grating. The solitons are stabilized by a nonlinear frequency shift induced by the strong amplitude phase coupling in semiconductor lasers. The simplest theoretical description is by a cubic complex Ginzburg-Landau equation coupled to a linear filter. The optical phase is an additional Goldstone mode for a laser soliton. Different solitons are usually mutually incoherent due to disorder resulting from cavity length fluctuations. However, we demonstrate frequency- and phase-locking overcoming the disorder and find agreement with the archetypical Adler scenario for the phase dynamics. Fast pulsing at the round-trip frequency is found after soliton switch-on demonstrating transient mode-locking of external cavity modes. An outlook is given on the asymptotic dynamics and prospects for the spatiotemporal self-localization of light.