Optical feedback effects in lasers may be useful or problematic, depending on the type of application. When semiconductor lasers are operated using pulsed-mode excitation, their behavior under optical feedback depends on the electronic and thermal characteristics of the laser, as well as the nature of the external cavity. Predicting the behavior of a laser under both optical feedback and pulsed operation therefore requires a detailed model that includes laser-specific thermal and electronic characteristics. In this paper we introduce such a model for an exemplar bound-to-continuum terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL), illustrating its use in a selection of pulsed operation scenarios. Our results demonstrate significant interplay between electro-optical, thermal, and feedback phenomena, and that this interplay is key to understanding QCL behavior in pulsed applications. Further, our results suggest that for many types of QCL in interferometric applications, thermal modulation via low duty cycle pulsed operation would be an alternative to commonly used adiabatic modulation.
- HIGH-FREQUENCY MODULATION