Rate equation analysis and non-Hermiticity in coupled semiconductor laser arrays

Zihe Gao, Matthew T. Johnson, Kent D. Choquette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optically coupled semiconductor laser arrays are described by coupled rate equations. The coupled mode equations and carrier densities are included in the analysis, which inherently incorporate the carrier-induced nonlinearities including gain saturation and amplitude-phase coupling. We solve the steady-state coupled rate equations and consider the cavity frequency detuning and the individual laser pump rates as the experimentally controlled variables. We show that the carrier-induced nonlinearities play a critical role in the mode control, and we identify gain contrast induced by cavity frequency detuning as a unique mechanism for mode control. Photon-mediated energy transfer between cavities is also discussed. Parity-time symmetry and exceptional points in this system are studied. Unbroken parity-time symmetry can be achieved by judiciously combining cavity detuning and unequal pump rates, while broken symmetry lies on the boundary of the optical locking region. Exceptional points are identified at the intersection between broken symmetry and unbroken parity-time symmetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number173102
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 7 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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