Understanding VCSEL-based gain switching optical frequency combs: experimental study of polarization dynamics Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2015

start page

  • 4572

end page

  • 4579


  • 22


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0733-8724

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-2213


  • In this work we carry out a experimental study on the polarization properties of a Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) working under Gain Switching (GS) regime and the characteristics of the resulting optical frequency comb signal. We have observed that each of the two polarization modes presented in the VCSEL Continuous Wave (CW) emission spectrum generate a separate Optical Frequency Comb (OFC) whose modes are phase correlated thanks to the GS regime. We study how these combs associated to the main and orthogonal polarization modes respectively vary depending on the input parameters to the VCSEL (bias current and radiofrequency power and frequency). The correlation between both OFCs in the best operation point as defined by the OFC characteristics is also evaluated. Therefore, this work demonstrates that two orthogonally polarized combs are generated that exhibit a high correlation between each other that combine to produce a wider overall optical comb. Hence, we can predict the feasibility of dual-polarization VCSEL-based Optical Frequency Comb Generators (OFCGs) in the few GHz repetition frequency rates, with highly correlated modes and continuously tunable distance between them, in a compact and energy and cost efficient system that can find application in ultrafast laser dynamics studies and or in polarization-division multiplexing optical communications.


  • Electronics


  • gain switching; laser diodes; polarization switching; optical frequency comb generator; orthogonal mode; vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser; energy efficiency