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We present experimental and theoretical results obtained from a new type of tunable two‐ and three‐section semiconductor distributed feedback (DFB) laser using tailored chirped DFB gratings. The chirped gratings are defined by bent waveguides on homogeneous grating fields with ultrahigh spatial precision using bent waveguides. Arbitrary and continuous chirping functions can be obtained by appropriate mathematical bending functions. Our method is applied for tunable lasers with optimized bending shapes revealing a considerably enlarged wavelength tuning range of 5.5 nm without wavelength gaps. © 1994 American Institute of Physics.