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Nat Commun ; 9(1): 5181, 2018 11 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504849


The original version of this Article contained an error in the Acknowledgements, which incorrectly omitted the following: 'We also acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects Funding Scheme (Grant DP 160 103910).' This has been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3076, 2018 08 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30082762


Single-mode frequency-tuneable semiconductor lasers based on monolithic integration of multiple cavity sections are important components, widely used in optical communications, photonic integrated circuits and other optical technologies. To date, investigations of the ultrafast switching processes in such lasers, essential to reduce frequency cross-talk, have been restricted to the observation of intensity switching over nanosecond-timescales. Here, we report coherent measurements of the ultrafast switch-on dynamics, mode competition and frequency selection in a monolithic frequency-tuneable laser using coherent time-domain sampling of the laser emission. This approach allows us to observe hopping between lasing modes on picosecond-timescales and the temporal evolution of transient multi-mode emission into steady-state single mode emission. The underlying physics is explained through a full multi-mode, temperature-dependent carrier and photon transport model. Our results show that the fundamental limit on the timescales of frequency-switching between competing modes varies with the underlying Vernier alignment of the laser cavity.

Opt Express ; 25(9): 10153-10165, 2017 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28468390


We propose a laser feedback interferometer operating at multiple terahertz (THz) frequency bands by using a pulsed coupled-cavity THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) under optical feedback. A theoretical model that contains multi-mode reduced rate equations and thermal equations is presented, which captures the interplay between electro-optical, thermal, and feedback effects. By using the self-heating effect in both active and passive cavities, self-mixing signal responses at three different THz frequency bands are predicted. A multi-spectral laser feedback interferometry system based on such a coupled-cavity THz QCL will permit ultra-high-speed sensing and spectroscopic applications including material identification.

Opt Express ; 24(19): 21948-56, 2016 Sep 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27661929


We explain the origin of voltage variations due to self-mixing in a terahertz (THz) frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL) using an extended density matrix (DM) approach. Our DM model allows calculation of both the current-voltage (I-V) and optical power characteristics of the QCL under optical feedback by changing the cavity loss, to which the gain of the active region is clamped. The variation of intra-cavity field strength necessary to achieve gain clamping, and the corresponding change in bias required to maintain a constant current density through the heterostructure is then calculated. Strong enhancement of the self-mixing voltage signal due to non-linearity of the (I-V) characteristics is predicted and confirmed experimentally in an exemplar 2.6 THz bound-to-continuum QCL.

Opt Express ; 24(18): 20554-70, 2016 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27607659


Optical feedback effects in lasers may be useful or problematic, depending on the type of application. When semiconductor lasers are operated using pulsed-mode excitation, their behavior under optical feedback depends on the electronic and thermal characteristics of the laser, as well as the nature of the external cavity. Predicting the behavior of a laser under both optical feedback and pulsed operation therefore requires a detailed model that includes laser-specific thermal and electronic characteristics. In this paper we introduce such a model for an exemplar bound-to-continuum terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL), illustrating its use in a selection of pulsed operation scenarios. Our results demonstrate significant interplay between electro-optical, thermal, and feedback phenomena, and that this interplay is key to understanding QCL behavior in pulsed applications. Further, our results suggest that for many types of QCL in interferometric applications, thermal modulation via low duty cycle pulsed operation would be an alternative to commonly used adiabatic modulation.