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Timing Jitter Characterization of a Free-Running SESAM Mode-locked VECSEL

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10 Author(s)
Wittwer, V.J. ; Dept. of Phys., ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland ; Zaugg, C.A. ; Pallmann, W.P. ; Oehler, A.E.H.
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We present timing jitter measurements of an InGaAs quantum well vertical external cavity surface emitting laser (VECSEL) passively mode locked with a quantum dot semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) at 2-GHz repetition rate. It generates 53-mW average output power in 4.6-ps pulses at 953 nm. The laser housing was optimized for high mechanical stability to reduce acoustic noise. We use a fiber-coupled multimode 808-nm pump diode, which is mounted inside the laser housing. No active cavity length stabilization is employed. The phase noise of the free-running laser integrated over a bandwidth from 100 Hz to 1 MHz corresponds to an RMS timing jitter of ≈212 fs, which is lower than previously obtained for mode-locked VECSELs. This clearly confirms the superior noise performance expected from a high-Q-cavity semiconductor laser. In contrast to edge-emitting semiconductor diode lasers, the cavity mode is perpendicular to the quantum well gain layers, which minimizes complex dispersion and nonlinear dynamics.

Published in:

Photonics Journal, IEEE  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )