A Theoretical Analysis of Optical Clock Extraction Using a Self-Pulsating Laser Diode

P. Rees, P. McEvoy, A. Valle, J. O'Gorman, S. Lynch, P. Landais, L. Pesquera, J. Hegarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The potential for using inexpensive compact disc laser diodes as optical clock extraction elements in transparent networks has led to an increase in research into the dynamics of self-pulsating laser diodes. We use a rate-equation model to simulate the synchronization of the self-pulsating laser output pulses to a periodic optical signal. In particular, we investigate the time it takes for the laser to synchronize to the input signal and also, the time taken for the laser to unlock when the signal is removed. The effect of varying the power of the optical signal and the detuning of the input signal frequency relative to the laser's self-pulsation frequency are determined. Our results enable us to identify important issues which need to be addressed when a self-pulsating laser diode is used in a clock extraction subsystem. In particular, we find that the signal frequency and laser free-running frequency must be as close as possible to minimize errors. Also, the higher the signal power the quicker the laser synchronizes to the signal, although we find that if the power becomes too large the laser can no longer lock, which would cause a significant increase in detection errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • Optical clock extraction
  • Semiconductor lasers
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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