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Coherently tunable mid-infrared distributed feedback lasers

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4 Author(s)
Sadeghi, S.M. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ont. ; Li, W. ; Li, X. ; Huang, W.-P.

We propose utilization of quantum interference effects in quantum well structures to tune lasing wavelengths of mid-infrared distributed feedback lasers. The interference effects are generated via interaction of an intense laser field with an n-doped quantum well, causing coherent suppression or enhancement of refractive indexes of the conduction intersubband transitions. We show that these processes allow us to shift lasing wavelength to shorter or longer wavelengths by adjusting the intensity and frequency of the intense laser. This study is done for two types of lasers: 1) an electromagnetically induced distributed feedback intersubband laser formed by embedding a longitudinal corrugation of several periods of the quantum well structure within a waveguide structure and 2) a phase-shifted distributed feedback laser where the quantum well is inserted in the middle of an index grating, forming an active phase shift region. In the former the intense laser field is responsible for generation of optical feedback while shifting the coherently induced stop-band. In the latter, however, this field changes the optical length of the phase shift region, tuning the lasing mode within the stop-band. We show that the amount of the wavelength shift, which can reach 17 nm, is controlled by the intensity of the intense laser. The sign of the tuning process (red or blue shift), however, is decided by the frequency of this field, after proper choice of the corrugation periods. We investigate the optical feedback mechanisms in such coherently tunable lasers and discuss how they are related to an electromagnetically induced transparency process that happens in the conduction intersubband transitions

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 8 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2006

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