Synchronization and communication using semiconductor lasers with optoelectronic feedback

Henry D.I. Abarbanel*, Matthew B. Kennel, Lucas Illing, S. Tang, H. F. Chen, J. M. Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Semiconductor lasers provide an excellent opportunity for communication using chaotic waveforms. We discuss the characteristics and the synchronization of two semiconductor lasers with optoelectronic feedback. The systems exhibit broadband chaotic intensity oscillations whose dynamical dimension generally increases with the time delay in the feedback loop. We explore the robustness of this synchronization with parameter mismatch in the lasers, with mismatch in the optoelectronic feedback delay, and with the strength of the coupling between the systems. Synchronization is robust to mismatches between the intrinsic parameters of the lasers, but it is sensitive to mismatches of the time delay in the transmitter and receiver feedback loops. An open-loop receiver configuration is suggested, eliminating feedback delay mismatch issues. Communication strategies for arbitrary amplitude of modulation onto the chaotic signals are discussed, and the bit-error rate for one such scheme is evaluated as a function of noise in the optical channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1311
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2001


  • Chaos
  • Communication system nonlinearities
  • Optical communication
  • Optoelectronic devices
  • Synchronization


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