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Broadly wavelength-tunable external cavity, mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers

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8 Author(s)
Guipeng Luo ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Houston Univ., TX, USA ; Chuan Peng ; Le, H.Q. ; Shin-Shem Pei
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Wavelength tuning over 120 nm for a grating-coupled 5.1-μm quantum-cascade type-I laser was studied for temperature from 80 to 243 K (-30°C). Both the Littman-Metcalf and first-order grating direct feedback cavity configurations were used with similar tuning results. The goal is to achieve broad tunability, and the result is a combined grating and temperature tuning of 245 nm, from 5.040 to 5.285 μm. The laser was designed for predominantly single-mode or at most, two-longitudinal mode operation. The instrument-limited laser linewidth was less than the cavity longitudinal mode spacing. Stepping-motor control of the grating allowed 0.4-GHz wavelength increments (35 pm) to be realized with high reproducibility. A current-induced wavelength shift of ~2-3 GHz was observed, corresponding to an effective refractive index change of ~10-3. Analysis indicates that single-mode, continuously tunable operation is feasible with a more optimal device and cavity

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 5 )