[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 6, No. 1 (1999) 1-15]

Feedback Induced Instability and Chaos in Semiconductor Lasers and Their Applications


Faculty of Engineering, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1, Johoku, Hamamatsu, 432-8561 Japan

(Received November 4, 1998; Accepted November 13, 1998)

Semiconductor laser with feedback is an excellent model for nonlinear optical system which shows chaotic dynamics. It is interesting not only from the fundamental physical study but also application standpoints of view. The dynamics of feedback induced instability and chaos, especially for optical feedback, and their applications are reviewed in this paper. The model of such a system is described by the laser rate equations. At first the dynamic behaviors of feedback induced instability and chaos in semiconductor lasers are discussed on the basis of the theory and experiments. Instability and chaos may be stabilized by the method of chaos control. Then we apply the method to suppress the noise induced by the feedback in a semiconductor laser. The synchronization of chaos between two similar systems is also an important issue in chaos applications and we discuss secure communications based on chaos synchronization. Some other examples of applications of feedback induced chaos are also described.

Key words : semiconductor laser, optical feedback, instability and chaos, chaos control, chaos synchronization, application of chaos