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Center For Applied and Computational Mathematics

Dynamics of Semiconductor Lasers with External Cavity


Faculty: Tamas Wiandt


Semiconductor lasers, due to their compact size, offer a wide variety of applications in various fields, particularly in optical data recording and optical fiber communications.
A short list of everyday uses includes dvd and cd players, laser pointers and laser sights, aircraft navigation, rangefinders, barcode readers, laser printers, image scanning and laser surgery.  Another area where a breakthrough is expected in the near future is the use of optical devices in microprocessors and optical connections inside computers, which promises a fundamental change in the shape of computing over the long term.

One of the main deterministic models which attempts to describe the behavior of semiconductor lasers is the Lang-Kobayashi delay differential equations.  We are investigating the solutions of this system of equations and some of the bifurcation scenarios which the model predicts.


  1. Lang and Kobayashi phase equation, P.M. Alsing, V. Kovanis, A. Gavrielides, and T. Erneux, Physical Review A, 53 4429-4434 (1996).

  2. Bifurcation to mixed external cavity mode solutions for semiconductor lasers subject to optical feedback, T. Erneux, F. Rogister, A. Gavrielides, and V. Kovanis, Optics Communications, 183, 467-477 (2000).

  3. Pulsating external cavity semiconductor lasers, V. Kovanis and T. Wiandt (in progress).


Vassilios Kovanis (Air Force Research Labs)


Emma Hinke
Natasha Kholgade
Karen Jackmin
Stanley Snelson (Columbia University)
Sara Reynolds (Nazareth College)