Abstract

We investigate the basic mechanism of nonlinear mode competition in two semiconductor-coupled nanocavities operating in the laser regime. For this, we study energy transfer between bonding (in-phase) and anti-bonding (out-of-phase) modes of the system formed by two strongly coupled photonic crystal nanolasers. We experimentally observe mode switching from the blue-detuned to the red-detuned mode as the pump power is increased. A semi-classical description in terms of mean-field equations allows us to explain this phenomenon as stimulated scattering due to carrier population oscillations in the cavities at the mode splitting frequency. We predict such asymmetrical mode interaction to be universal in arrays of optically coupled semiconductor micro and nanocavities.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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