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Proceedings Paper

High-power ultralow-noise semiconductor external cavity lasers based on low-confinement optical waveguide gain media
Author(s): Paul W. Juodawlkis; William Loh; Frederick J. O'Donnell; Michael A. Brattain; Jason J. Plant
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Paper Abstract

For the past several years, we have been developing a new class of high-power, low-noise semiconductor optical gain medium based on the slab-coupled optical waveguide (SCOW) concept. The key characteristics of the SCOW design are (i) large (> 5 x 5 μm), symmetric, fundamental-transverse-mode operation attained through a combination of coupledmode filtering and low index-contrast, (ii) very low optical confinement factor (Γ ~ 0.3-0.5%), and (iii) low excessoptical loss (αi ~ 0.5 cm-1). The large transverse mode and low confinement factor enables SCOW lasers (SCOWLs) and amplifiers (SCOWAs) having Watt-class output power. The low confinement factor also dictates that the waveguide length be very large (0.5-1 cm) to achieve useful gain, which provides the benefits of small ohmic and thermal resistance. In this paper, we review the operating principles and performance of the SCOW gain medium, and detail its use in 1550-nm single-frequency SCOW external cavity lasers (SCOWECLs). The SCOWECL consists of a doublepass, curved-channel InGaAlAs quantum-well SCOWA and a narrowband (2.5 GHz) fiber Bragg grating (FBG) external cavity. We investigate the impact of the cavity Q on SCOWECL performance by varying the FBG reflectivity. We show that a bench-top SCOWECL having a FBG reflectivity of R = 10% (R = 20%) has a maximum output power of 450 mW (400 mW), linewidth of 52 kHz (28 kHz), and RIN at 2-MHz offset frequency of -155 dB/Hz (-165 dB/Hz).

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7616, Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers IX, 76160X (12 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.846662
Show Author Affiliations
Paul W. Juodawlkis, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
William Loh, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Frederick J. O'Donnell, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Michael A. Brattain, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Jason J. Plant, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7616:
Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers IX
Alexey A. Belyanin; Peter M. Smowton, Editor(s)

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