Effect of spatial hole burning on output characteristics of high power edge emitting semiconductor lasers

The effect of longitudinal spatial hole burning on the performance of a semiconductor laser with a strongly asymmetric resonator is investigated numerically. The effects of spatial hole burning on, firstly, the non-stimulated recombination in the laser (quantified as an increased effective threshold current) and, secondly, the output efficiency are calculated and compared, and the latter is shown to dominate at high currents. It is shown that the output efficiency at high pumping levels in the presence of the spatial hole burning effect can be estimated using the standard expression as the ratio of output loss to total loss, but with the internal loss enhanced by a factor greater than one and independent on the injection level. A simple universal expression for this factor for a highly asymmetric cavity, as a function of the output mirror reflectance, is obtained and compared to numerical results, with good agreement.