In this chapter we address the optical properties of microcavities in the weak-coupling regime and review the emission of light from microcavities in the linear regime. We present a derivation of the Purcell effect and stimulated emission of radiation by microcavities, and consider how this develops towards lasing. Finally, we briefly consider nonlinear properties of weakly coupled semiconductor microcavities. The functionality of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) is also described.
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