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Proceedings Paper

Polarization dynamics in spin-polarized vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers
Author(s): Nils C. Gerhardt; Henning Höpfner; Markus Lindemann; Martin R. Hofmann
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Paper Abstract

Spin-polarized lasers and especially spin-polarized vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (spin-VCSELs) are at- tractive novel spintronic devices providing functionalities and characteristics superior to their conventional purely charge-based counterparts. This applies in particular to ultrafast dynamics, modulation capability and chirp control of directly modulated lasers. Here we demonstrate that ultrafast oscillations of the circular polarization degree can be generated in VCSELs by pulsed spin injection which have the potential to reach frequencies beyond 100 GHz. These oscillations are due to the coupling of the carrier-spin-photon system via the optical birefringence for the linearly polarized laser modes in the micro-cavity and are principally decoupled from conventional relaxation oscillations of the carrier-photon system. Utilizing these polarization oscillations is a very promising path to ultrafast directly modulated spin-VCSELs in the near future as long as an effective concept can be developed to modulate or switch these polarization oscillations. After briefly reviewing the state of research in the emerging field of spin-VCSELs, we present a novel concept for controlled switching of polarization oscillations by use of multiple optical spin injection pulses. Depending on the amplitude and phase conditions of the excitation pulses, constructive or destructive interference of polarization oscillations leads to an excitation, stabilization or switch-off of these oscillations. Furthermore even short single polarization bursts can be generated with pulse widths only limited by the resonance frequency of the polarization oscillation. Consequently, this concept is an important building block for using spin controlled polarization oscillations for future communication applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9167, Spintronics VII, 916703 (8 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2063723
Show Author Affiliations
Nils C. Gerhardt, Ruhr-Univ. Bochum (Germany)
Henning Höpfner, Ruhr-Univ. Bochum (Germany)
Markus Lindemann, Ruhr-Univ. Bochum (Germany)
Martin R. Hofmann, Ruhr-Univ. Bochum (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9167:
Spintronics VII
Henri-Jean Drouhin; Jean-Eric Wegrowe; Manijeh Razeghi, Editor(s)

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