We examine the response of a pulse pumped quantum dot laser both experimentally and numerically. As the maximum of the pump pulse comes closer to the excited-state threshold, the output pulse shape becomes unstable and leads to dropouts. We conjecture that these instabilities result from an increase of the linewidth enhancement factor α as the pump parameter comes close to the excitated state threshold. In order to analyze the dynamical mechanism of the dropout, we consider two cases for which the laser exhibits either a jump to a different single mode or a jump to fast intensity oscillations. The origin of these two instabilities is clarified by a combined analytical and numerical bifurcation diagram of the steady state intensity modes.
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The following article appeared in Sokolovskii, G. S., Viktorov, E. A., Abusaa, M., Danckaert, J., Dudelev, V. V., Kolykhalova, E. D., ... Erneux, T. (2015). Dropout dynamics in pulsed quantum dot lasers due to mode jumping. Applied physics letters, 106(26),  and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923244
Funding: Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window (EMECW) programme under Project No. 141085-EM-1-2008-BE-ERAMUNDUS-ECW-L02, the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, and the Belgian Science Policy Office under Grant No. IAP-7/35 “photonics@be.” Support by the Russian Ministry of Science and Education (Grant ID: RFMEFI60714X0101).