Coherent instabilities in a semiconductor laser with fast gain recovery
MetadataShow full item record
We report the observation of a coherent multimode instability in quantum cascade lasers (QCLs), which is driven by the same fundamental mechanism of Rabi oscillations as the elusive Risken-Nummedal-Graham-Haken (RNGH) instability predicted 40 years ago for ring lasers. The threshold of the observed instability is significantly lower than in the original RNGH instability, which we attribute to saturable-absorption nonlinearity in the laser. Coherent effects, which cannot be reproduced by standard laser rate equations, can play therefore a key role in the multimode dynamics of QCLs, and in lasers with fast gain recovery in general.