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Deterministic polarization chaos from a laser diode

Abstract : Fifty years after the invention of the laser diode, and forty years after the butterfly effect signified the unpredictability of deterministic chaos, it is commonly believed that a laser diode behaves like a damped nonlinear oscillator and cannot be driven into chaotic operation without additional forcing or parameter modulation. Here, we counter that belief and report the first example of a free-running laser diode generating chaos. The underlying physics comprises a nonlinear coupling between two elliptically polarized modes in a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser. We identify chaos in experimental time series and show, theoretically, the bifurcations leading to single- and double-scroll attractors with characteristics similar to Lorenz chaos. The reported polarization chaos resembles noise-driven mode hopping, but shows opposite statistical properties. Our findings open up new research areas for the creation of controllable and integrated sources of optical chaos.
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Contributor : Sébastien van Luchene <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 23, 2012 - 3:54:44 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 6:14:02 PM

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Martin Virte, Krassimir Panajotov, Hugo Thienpont, Marc Sciamanna. Deterministic polarization chaos from a laser diode. Nature Photonics, Nature Publishing Group, 2013, 7 (1), pp.60-65. ⟨10.1038/nphoton.2012.286⟩. ⟨hal-00756719⟩



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