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Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of

Issue 6 • Date Nov.-Dec. 2000

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 75
  • Introduction to the millennium issue of the journal of selected topics in quantum electronics

    Page(s): 829 - 831
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Double heterostructure lasers: early days and future perspectives

    Page(s): 832 - 840
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    A short historical review of the physics and technology of heterostructure lasers based on double heterostructures is described. Recent progress in quantum dot laser structures and future trends in the development of the physics and technology of these new types of heterostructures are discussed. View full abstract»

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  • History of optical trapping and manipulation of small-neutral particle, atoms, and molecules

    Page(s): 841 - 856
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    Reviews the history of optical trapping and manipulation of small-neutral particles, from the time of its origin in 1970 up to the present. As we shall see, the unique characteristics of this technique are having a major impact on the many subfields of physics, chemistry, and biology where small particles play a role. View full abstract»

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  • Quantum frequency standards

    Page(s): 857 - 868
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    A brief review of quantum frequency standards development since the early stage of quantum radiophysics is presented. The level of performance achieved and various applications in science and technology prove that the quantum frequency standards are a classical example of the remarkable impact of quantum radiophysics into 20th century civilization. View full abstract»

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  • Background of an inversion: the first gas laser

    Page(s): 869 - 875
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    A description of the problems encountered in creating the first continuously oscillating laser (the helium-neon "optical maser") is given, together with some previously unpublished data taken by the author on the excitation transfer process between helium metastables and the upper laser levels in neon. Research on the helium-neon excitation transfer problem is traced back to a little-known paper by Headrick and Duffendack published in 1931. An interesting historical coincidence is noted in that most of the people who did pioneering work in the laser field had some connection with the Physics Department at Columbia University. That probability arose because Columbia was the birthplace of induced resonance experiments in physics during the 1930s. View full abstract»

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  • Nonlinear optics: past, present, and future

    Page(s): 876 - 880
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    A historic introduction, describing the emergence of a new subfield of optics in the years 1961 and 1962, is followed by an overview of topics in nonlinear optics, which enjoy particular scientific or technological interest in the year 2000 and which hold promise for further developments in the 21st century. View full abstract»

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  • The impact of Charles H. Townes on nonlinear optics

    Page(s): 881 - 884
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    Reviews the impact of several of the pioneering contributions of Charles H. Townes on the development of the field of nonlinear optics. Research in the areas of stimulated Brillouin scattering, the Autler-Townes effect, and self-trapping of light are reviewed. View full abstract»

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  • Ion lasers-the early years

    Page(s): 885 - 898
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    The paper is a personal, anecdotal history of the discovery and early development of ion lasers, particularly the argon ion laser. A brief discussion of the mechanisms that make this laser work, and the engineering challenges and developments that make it practical are included. Some early applications in night reconnaissance and imaging are included. View full abstract»

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  • Radiation from a dipole embedded in a dielectric slab

    Page(s): 899 - 910
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    A unified analytical treatment of the radiation from an electric dipole of arbitrary orientation embedded at an arbitrary location within a symmetrically clad dielectric slab is presented. Both the emission into three-dimensional (3-D) radiation modes, corresponding to emission within the critical angle escape cone within the dielectric slab, and into the two-dimensional (2-D) waveguide modes are evaluated from a single calculation. The model is valid for arbitrary dielectric contrast between the slab and the cladding. The mathematical approach uses well-known complex analysis techniques: the 3-D radiation is described by a steepest descents integration around branch cuts while the 2-D waveguide modes correspond to simple poles. The division of the radiated power between the 3-D and 2-D modes is evaluated across the entire range from small dielectric contrast appropriate to diode lasers (/spl lsim/1,1) to the very large dielectric contrast of free-standing semiconductor slabs (/spl sim/12-19). Both enhancement and suppression, depending on position, slab width, dielectric contrast, and wavelength, of the total radiated power in comparison with that in an unbounded dielectric-medium are found for slab widths on the order of a wavelength with a maximum enhancement of /spl sim/30% for these one-dimensional Fabry-Perot structures. For thicker slabs the total radiation is almost constant and equal to that in the unbounded medium for low dielectric contrast while still exhibiting some modulation as increasing thickness allows additional waveguide modes. View full abstract»

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  • Nonlinear optics and solid-state lasers: 2000

    Page(s): 911 - 930
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    Progress in solid-state laser sources and the nonlinear frequency conversion of lasers has been impressive over the first forty years of their development. The paper reviews the progress with an emphasis on the interactions of the scientists and engineers involved in the work and the motivation for the research. This account, is highly personal and necessarily incomplete. The references cited point to the key results and to reviews of progress in nonlinear optics and solid-state laser sources and should assist those seeking to learn about the field as it developed. View full abstract»

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  • New frontiers in quantum cascade lasers and applications

    Page(s): 931 - 947
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    Recent advances and new directions in quantum cascade (QC) lasers are discussed. Invented in 1994 following many years of research on band-structure engineered semiconductors and devices grown by molecular beam epitaxy, this fundamentally new laser has rapidly advanced to a leading position among midinfrared semiconductor lasers in terms of wavelength agility as well as power and temperature performance. Because of the cascaded structure, QC lasers have a slope efficiency proportional to the number of stages. Devices with 100 stages having a record peak power of 0.6 W at room temperature are reported. QC lasers in the AlInAs-GaInAs lattice matched to InP material system can now be designed to emit in the whole midinfrared range from 4 to 20 /spl mu/m by appropriately choosing the thickness of the quantum wells in the active region. Using strained AlInAs-GaInAs, wavelengths as short as 3.4 /spl mu/m have been produced. New results on QC lasers emitting at 19 /spl mu/m, the longest ever realized in a III-V semiconductor laser, are reported. These devices use innovative plasmon waveguides to greatly enhance the mode confinement factor, thereby reducing the thickness of the epitaxial material. By use of a distributed feedback (DFB) geometry, QC lasers show single-mode emission with a 30-dB side-mode suppression ratio. Broad continuous single-mode tuning by either temperature or current has been demonstrated in these DFB QC lasers at wavelengths in two atmospheric windows (3-5 and 8-13 /spl mu/m), with continuous-wave linewidths <1 MHz when free running and /spl sim/10 KHz with suitable locking to the side of a molecular transition. These devices have been used in a number of chemical sensing and spectroscopic applications, demonstrating the capability of detecting parts per billion in volume of several trace gases. Sophisticated band-structure engineering has allowed the design and demonstration of bidirectional lasers. These devices emit different wavelengths for oppo- ite bias polarities. The last section of the paper deals with the high-speed operation of QC lasers. Gain switching with pulse widths /spl sim/50 ps and active modelocking with a few picosecond-long pulses have been demonstrated. Finally, a new type of passive modelocking has been demonstrated in QC lasers, which relies on the giant and ultrafast optical Kerr effect of intersubband transitions. View full abstract»

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  • Few-optical-cycle laser pulses: from high peak power to frequency tunability

    Page(s): 948 - 958
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    Recent advances in ultrafast laser technology have led to the generation of light pulses comprising few optical cycles employing different compression techniques. In particular, two techniques have been developed, which allow addressing the issues of high peak power or frequency tunability in a wide spectral range, namely: the hollow-fiber compression technique and the optical parametric amplification. The paper analyzes the general scheme of pulse compression and reports on the most interesting results obtained using the above-mentioned techniques. The combination of spectral broadening in a gas-filled hollow fiber with ultrabroad-band dispersion control, has led to the generation of pulses with duration of /spl sim/5 fs with peak powers up to 0.11 TW. Using optical parametric amplifiers with different configurations sub-15-fs laser pulses have been generated tunable in the visible and in the near-infrared. View full abstract»

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  • Optical space communications

    Page(s): 959 - 975
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    Optical space communications is on the verge of becoming a reality. It will be a key building block for wide-area space data networks of the future. We discuss the critical technology and architecture issues to be addressed for the realization of these systems, and present examples of high level designs. Design methodologies treating these as complex engineering systems, and the technique to breakdown the systems into interacting but logically separate subsystems for design and analysis, are suggested. Fundamental limits of performance and avenues for promising future research and development are given. View full abstract»

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  • Engineers in the 21st century

    Page(s): 976 - 977
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    Most of us choose engineering as a profession because we like to solve problems and build things. I picture an engineer as a whole person, a well-rounded, well-adjusted individual who is capable of conducting business like anyone else, with the added benefit of technical skills. We are the modern-day renaissance men and women, like Edison and Da Vinci. These men could invent and create. They were artists who had a broad view of the world and saw possibilities that no one had seen before. There is no reason why we can't be like them and do even more. We understand more science and have modern tools like computers and lasers to design and build things, plus we can use information technology to gather data when we have knowledge gaps. The point is that, once we have a clear picture of who we want to be, now more than ever before, that vision is obtainable, and that vision becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy if we choose to act on it. Certainly, if we think we can't do it, we won't. I'd like to share my vision of an accomplished 21st century engineer and offer some thoughts on how to get there. I see successful engineers as people who take an early interest in science and engineering. They have alert minds and a natural curiosity for everything around them. Their drive to learn is insatiable, soaking up knowledge constantly. They do things for the love of it, not simply for monetary rewards, but for the pride and personal satisfaction that comes with doing something particularly well. View full abstract»

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  • Tunable VCSEL

    Page(s): 978 - 987
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    Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are now key optical sources in optical communications. Their main application is currently in local area networks using multimode optical fibers. VCSELs are also being rapidly commercialized for single-mode fiber metropolitan area and wide area network applications. The advantages of VCSEL include simpler fiber coupling, easier packaging and testing, and the ability to be fabricated in arrays. In addition, VCSELs have an inherent single-wavelength structure that is well suited for wavelength engineering. All these advantages promise to lead to cost-effective wavelength-tunable lasers, which are essential for the future intelligent, all-optical networks. The author reviews the advances on wavelength-tunable VCSELs. She summarizes some of the early breakthroughs in wavelength engineering of VCSELs and then concentrates on the designs and properties of micromechanical tunable VCSEL. View full abstract»

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  • Monolithic tunable diode lasers

    Page(s): 988 - 999
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    After over two decades of exploration, tunable diode lasers are beginning to find significant applications, driven largely by the huge demand for bandwidth that is guiding many developments in the optical fiber communication business today. In the paper, some of the history and key developments that have led to the technologies available today are reviewed from the perspective of the author. After discussion of some of the early work, the focus shifts to widely tunable diode lasers, which would appear to be key enablers for future dense wavelength-division multiplexing and optical switching and networking systems. The distinguishing characteristics of the current technological alternatives are summarized. View full abstract»

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  • Reminiscences on selected millennium highlights in the quest for tunable terahertz-submillimeter wave oscillators

    Page(s): 1000 - 1007
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    The generation of coherent electromagnetic radiation across the spectrum has been one of man's major achievements. With the invention of the laser, the microwave and optical spectral range has seen intense activity in both physical and quantum electronics research and engineering. However, the submillimeter-terahertz region has been somewhat left behind, partly due to the unique challenges it presents in developing sources, detectors, and components. The paper traces selected highlights from the work of Hertz at 50 GHz to current research at terahertz frequencies. There is always the aim that a review might trigger some new ideas to apply to terahertz oscillators. View full abstract»

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  • Strained-layer InGaAs quantum-well heterostructure lasers

    Page(s): 1008 - 1013
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    The incorporation of intentional strain in heterostructure lasers was almost unheard of a decade ago or so and considered a problem to be avoided. Advances in both epitaxial crystal growth technology and the understanding of the physics and reliability of these materials have led to a remarkable increase in the commercial use of strained-layer lasers. The industry has benefited from an increase in the available range of emission wavelengths from quantum-well diode lasers and dramatic improvement in their time-zero performance. In the paper, we review the characteristics of strained-layer InGaAs quantum-well heterostructure lasers that have resulted in the emergence of this important technology. View full abstract»

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  • Fiber optics in sensing and measurement

    Page(s): 1014 - 1021
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    Optical techniques for measurement-interferometry, spectrometry and polarimetry"have long been used in materials measurement and environmental evaluation. The optical fiber lends get more flexibility in the implementation of these basic concepts. Fiber-optic technology has, for over 30 years, made important contributions to the science of measurement. The paper presents a perspective on these contributions which while far from exhaustive highlights the important conceptual advances made in the early days of optical fiber technology and the breadth of application which has emerged. There are also apparent opportunities for yet more imaginative research in applying guided-wave optics to emerging and challenging measurement requirements ranging from microsystems characterization to cellular biochemistry to art restoration. View full abstract»

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  • Medium-power CW Raman fiber lasers

    Page(s): 1022 - 1028
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    A review of recent results on medium-power CW Raman fiber lasers pumped by laser diodes is presented. Most attention is given to Raman lasers based on phosphosilicate fibers, the latter providing a number of advantages compared to commonly used germanosilicate fibers. View full abstract»

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  • Optimum nonblocking networks for photonic switching

    Page(s): 1029 - 1039
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    We systematically minimize the number of elements in a N/spl times/N crossconnect consisting of 2/spl times/2 elements. The derivation covers all cases of interest, including dilated arrangements with negligible crosstalk. The relationship between number of elements and important parameters such as crosstalk, depth, and width is obtained. If N is not too large, and if stringent requirements are imposed on loss and crosstalk, then we show that the N/spl times/N arrangement is best realized using binary trees. The derivation also applies to arrangements including wavelength routers and channel adding/dropping filters. View full abstract»

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  • III-V semiconductor heterojunction devices grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition

    Page(s): 1040 - 1050
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    Several important early developments in the metalorganic chemical vapor deposition technology relate to the demonstration of high-performance AlGaAs-GaAs injection lasers and solar cells in the late 1970s. It has been nearly 24 years since the first semiconductor injection lasers grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) were made and nearly 22 years since the first continuous-wave quantum-well injection lasers were made by this process. In this past 20 odd years, MOCVD has been developed for the production of AlGaAs, InAlGaP, InGaAsP, InAlGaN, and a variety of other compound semiconductor materials. It is now the dominant technology for the production of light-emitting diodes, injection lasers, solar cells, photodetectors, and heterojunction bipolar transistors and a variety of other solid-state devices. The paper reviews some of the early developments in this technology. View full abstract»

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  • From N/sub 2/ (337 nm) to high-order harmonic generation: 40 years of coherent source development in the UV and VUV

    Page(s): 1051 - 1060
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    An abbreviated history of the development of several selected coherent sources (primary and nonlinear) in the 100-100-nm spectral region over the past four decades is presented. In this comparatively brief span of time, peak output powers in the UV have risen by more than eight orders of magnitude, and photons from the near-UV to the threshold of the soft X-ray region are now generated routinely at kilohertz repetition frequencies. A few of the milestones and individuals who contributed to this period of enormous progress are discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Excimer laser technology development

    Page(s): 1061 - 1071
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    Reviews the underlying physics and key technology developments of excimer lasers. The paper traces both e-beam pumped lasers, which were the initial vehicle for demonstrating the majority of these systems, and the more practical fast-pulse avalanche-discharge lasers. By solving the key technology issues derived from certain applications of interest to funding agencies, the past work has provided the laser of choice for any UV application requiring more than a few watts of output power. The technology developed enables UV output powers in excess of 1 kW and lifetimes of well over 10/sup 9/ shots. View full abstract»

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  • Active optoelectronics using thin-film organic semiconductors

    Page(s): 1072 - 1083
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    We review recent results in the emerging area of organic semiconductor materials. Light-emitting devices, thin-film transistors and ultrafast photodetectors are used as examples to show the progress made in our understanding of the fundamental optoelectronic properties of organic thin films, and their application to active electronic devices. Also, a perspective of the potential of these materials for practical application following 50 years of intense research is considered. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Papers published in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics fall within the broad field of science and technology of quantum electronics of a device, subsystem, or system-oriented nature.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
John Cartledge
Queen's University