Modelocked semiconductor lasers and pulse shaping
Saeed Tahvili MSc. (OED)
Dr Erwin Bente (OED)
Dr Richard Notzel (PSN-TN)
Partners outside TU/e
IOP Photonic Devices (SenterNovem / STW)Project: Frequency comb laser devices: Miniaturization and application to metrology and non-linear microscopy.
MEMPHIS Smartmix project
Picoseconds and femtosecond optical pulses are widely used in research laboratories, in areas varying from fundamental physics, telecommunications, materials science to biology and medicine. More and more this research leads to applications. For many of these applications however, much smaller, turn-key laser systems that can operate in even the most hostile environments are required. Optical integration will provide a way to get to such laser systems for certain applications. We are carrying out research to get to fully optically integrated laser systems operating in the 1500 to 1600nm wavelength range. Currently we are working in a project to develop such laser light sources for application in metrology and non-linear microscopy. Other interests are all-optical clock recovery for high speed optical communication and photonic sampling.
The short pulses are generated by modelocked lasers (MLL): lasers in which the different longitudinal laser modes are locked in phase. This gives rise to the formation of short pulses at a repetition rate that is equal to the roundtrip time. The output spectrum of MLLs shows an equally spaced series of laser modes, the frequency comb. To achieve modelocking so called passive and hybrid techniques are investigated. Our particular interest is in ring cavities for these lasers. For metrology purposes we are investigating modelocked lasers using InAs quantum dots on InP(100) as a gain medium. We have shown that such MMLs have a relatively large coherent bandwidth and show a unique type of modelocking, over a wide range of operating parameters. The goal is to develop devices that can have a minimised timing jitter and stabilised wavelengths of the laser mode frequencies through electronic and opto-electronics feedback techniques.
The laser pulses can be manipulated a pulse shaper and/or special optical amplifier structures. In a pulse shaper, the spectral components in the laser output are separated and the phase and amplitude of each component is controlled using electro-optic phase modulators and amplifiers. All of this can be integrated onto a single optical chip. For optimal performance silicon-oxynitride and InP technology based devices will be combined.
M.J.R. Heck, E.A.J.M. Bente, B. Smalbrugge, Y.S. Oei, M.K. Smit, S. Anantathanasarn, and R. Nötzel, “Observation of Q-switching and mode-locking in two-section InAs/InP (100) quantum dot lasers around 1.55 µm“, Optics Express, Vol. 15, No. 25, 16292-16301 (2007)
Martijn J.R. Heck, Pascual Muńoz, Bauke W. Tilma, Erwin A.J.M. Bente, Yohan Barbarin, Yok-Siang Oei, Richard Nötzel and Meint K. Smit, “Design, Fabrication and Characterization of an InP-based Tunable Integrated Optical Pulse Shaper”, IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 44, No. 4, p.p. 370-377 (2008)
Erwin A.J.M. Bente, Yohan Barbarin, Martijn J.R. Heck and Meint K. Smit, “Modeling of integrated extended cavity InP/InGaAsP semiconductor modelocked ring lasers”, Optical and Quantum Electronics, 40(2-4), 131-148 (2008)