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First order gain and index coupled distributed feedback (DFB) gratings were realized in ZnSe‐based laser structures using direct implantation with a focused ion beam for gain‐modulated structures and conventional electron beam lithography for index modulation. With both technologies, gratings with periods below 90 nm could be achieved, permitting DFB emission in the blue spectral range. Fine tuning of the emission wavelength in steps of 0.14 nm is demonstrated by sampled DFB gratings based on a periodic modulation of the resonator period. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.