Noise behavior of pulsed, vertical-cavity, surface-emitting lasers

T.W.S. Garrison, M. Beck and D.H. Christensen, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, 16, 2124-2130 (1999).


We have determined the pulse-energy fluctuations of vertical-cavity, surface-emitting lasers by measuring the number of photoelectrons produced when a laser pulse is incident on a photodetector.  We obtain probability distributions for the number of photoelectrons produced by the total pulse energy, as well as distributions produced by the energy in each of the two orthogonal laser polarizations.  We find that the noise of the laser increases when each new laser mode comes above threshold, and that the individual polarization outputs are noisier than the total output, indicating negative correlations between the energies in the two polarizations.  We also find that while the statistics of the total output is Gaussian, this is not always true of the individual polarizations.

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