Recent experimental efforts in mode-locking semiconductor lasers showed that it is possible to actively and passively mode-lock a quantum-well semiconductor laser at the millimeter-wave frequencies of >50 GHz.1-3 Also, very short optical pulses with 100% optical-modulation depth can be generated under these conditions.4,5 The conditions under which ultra-high frequency mode-locking can take place have been studied in detail;6 passive mode-locking can be adversely affected or even suppressed by the presence of self-pulsation—a consequence of the simultaneous presence of the necessary ingredients for passive mode-locking, a saturable absorber and gain in a laser cavity. These effects have been considered in other mode-locked systems.7

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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