Microscopic modeling of transverse non-equilibrium dynamics in mode-locked VECSELs
Mode-locked vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers are compact and powerful sources for ultrafast laser pulses. To model the microscopic many-body effects within these systems, we use the Maxwell Semiconductor Bloch Equations, which couple pulse propagation to a first principles model for the field induced polarization within an active semiconductor quantum well. We investigate the generation of higher order transverse modes which give rise to oscillating instabilities in pulse intensities. These instabilities are linked to inhomogeneous densities within the quantum wells which determine the transverse amplification and absorption seen by the pulse on successive round trips.