Date of Award


Document Type


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Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Engineering Physics


The nonlinear characteristics of optically pumped Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers VCSELs are identified, isolated, and quantified. Three different VCSELs are evaluated including two with gain regions of bulk GaAs operating at 875nm and one multi-quantum well MQW InGaAs VCSEL operating at 950nm. The nonlinearities evaluated include those due to cavity temperature, carrier injection, and internal lasing field. The VCSELs are pumped by a picosecondfemtosecond TiSapphire laser which is configured to operate in CW, gated CW minimum gate width was 200ns, picosecond, and gated picosecond modes. A linear relationship is shown between wavelength and substrate temperature, cavity temperature, and injected carriers. It is shown that heating is the dominate nonlinearity in the bulk gain region VCSELs for the pump duty cycles which could be achieved. The MQW VCSEL was dominated by nonlinearities due to carrier population at duty cycles of 10 or less causing the VCSEL to blueshift. A nonlinear relationship is shown between input power and output power and is attributed to the optical Kerr effects in the mirror layers and gain region.

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