Abstract

A previously reported expression [Opt. Quantum Electron. 27, 63 (1995)] for the variance of photon number m in a laser diode driven by nonfluctuating currents is generalized to account for spontaneous carrier recombination. The semiclassical theory used here yields QΔm2/m-1=b+(n/m)/(1+b)-1/2, where n is the average carrier number and b is the spontaneous-to-stimulated rate ratio. This expression is in exact agreement with a recently reported quantum-theory result [J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 13, 761 (1996)]. At high power, b0 and mn imply that Δm2=m/2, i.e. sub-Poissonian internal-field statistics. The Q factor that relates to carrier number is given by the same expression, except that the first b term is missing. Practical means of measuring the photon-number variance and the role of spectral-hole burning are briefly discussed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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