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1.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 835, 2020 Feb 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32047146

RESUMO

The fast modulation of lasers is a fundamental requirement for applications in optical communications, high-resolution spectroscopy and metrology. In the terahertz-frequency range, the quantum-cascade laser (QCL) is a high-power source with the potential for high-frequency modulation. However, conventional electronic modulation is limited fundamentally by parasitic device impedance, and so alternative physical processes must be exploited to modulate the QCL gain on ultrafast timescales. Here, we demonstrate an alternative mechanism to modulate the emission from a QCL device, whereby optically-generated acoustic phonon pulses are used to perturb the QCL bandstructure, enabling fast amplitude modulation that can be controlled using the QCL drive current or strain pulse amplitude, to a maximum modulation depth of 6% in our experiment. We show that this modulation can be explained using perturbation theory analysis. While the modulation rise-time was limited to ~800 ps by our measurement system, theoretical considerations suggest considerably faster modulation could be possible.

2.
Opt Express ; 27(7): 10221-10233, 2019 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31045166

RESUMO

We report a coherent terahertz (THz) imaging system that utilises a quantum cascade laser (QCL) operating in pulsed-mode as both the source and detector. The realisation of a short-pulsed THz QCL feedback interferometer permits both high peak powers and improved thermal efficiency, which enables the cryogen-free operation of the system. In this work, we demonstrated pulsed-mode swept-frequency laser feedback interferometry experimentally. Our interferometric detection scheme not only permits the simultaneous creation of both amplitude and phase images, but inherently suppresses unwanted background radiation. We demonstrate that the proposed system utilising microsecond pulses has the potential to achieve 0.25 mega-pixel per second acquisition rates, paving the pathway to video frame rate THz imaging.

3.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 17648, 2018 Nov 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504784

RESUMO

A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has been fixed in the paper.

4.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 5181, 2018 11 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504849

RESUMO

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.

5.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3076, 2018 08 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30082762

RESUMO

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.

6.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 7236, 2017 08 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28775327

RESUMO

The effects of optical feedback (OF) in lasers have been observed since the early days of laser development. While OF can result in undesirable and unpredictable operation in laser systems, it can also cause measurable perturbations to the operating parameters, which can be harnessed for metrological purposes. In this work we exploit this 'self-mixing' effect to infer the emission spectrum of a semiconductor laser using a laser-feedback interferometer, in which the terminal voltage of the laser is used to coherently sample the reinjected field. We demonstrate this approach using a terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser operating in both single- and multiple-longitudinal mode regimes, and are able to resolve spectral features not reliably resolved using traditional Fourier transform spectroscopy. We also investigate quantitatively the frequency perturbation of individual laser modes under OF, and find excellent agreement with predictions of the excess phase equation central to the theory of lasers under OF.

7.
Sensors (Basel) ; 17(6)2017 May 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28587100

RESUMO

A prospective comparative study assessing the importance of the intra-operative dynamic rotational tracking-especially in the treatment of astigmatisms in corneal refractive Excimer laser correction-concerning clinical outcomes is presented. The cyclotorsion from upright to supine position was measured using iris image comparison. The Group 1 of patients was additionally treated with cyclorotational control and Group 2 only with X-Y control. Significant differences were observed between the groups regarding the mean postoperative cylinder refraction (p < 0.05). The mean cyclotorsion can be calculated to 3.75° with a standard deviation of 3.1°. The total range of torsion was from -14.9° to +12.6°. Re-treatment rate was 2.2% in Group 1 and 8.2% in Group 2, which is highly significant (p < 0.01). The investigation confirms that the dynamic rotational tracking system used for LASIK results in highly predictable refraction quality with significantly less postoperative re-treatments.


Assuntos
Lasers de Excimer , Humanos , Iris , Miopia , Estudos Prospectivos , Refração Ocular , Resultado do Tratamento
8.
Opt Express ; 25(9): 10153-10165, 2017 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28468390

RESUMO

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.

9.
Opt Express ; 24(18): 20554-70, 2016 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27607659

RESUMO

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.

10.
Opt Express ; 24(19): 21948-56, 2016 Sep 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27661929

RESUMO

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.

11.
Sensors (Basel) ; 16(3)2016 Mar 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27005629

RESUMO

We propose a self-consistent method for the analysis of granular materials at terahertz (THz) frequencies using a quantum cascade laser. The method is designed for signals acquired from a laser feedback interferometer, and applied to non-contact reflection-mode sensing. Our technique is demonstrated using three plastic explosives, achieving good agreement with reference measurements obtained by THz time-domain spectroscopy in transmission geometry. The technique described in this study is readily scalable: replacing a single laser with a small laser array, with individual lasers operating at different frequencies will enable unambiguous identification of select materials. This paves the way towards non-contact, reflection-mode analysis and identification of granular materials at THz frequencies using quantum cascade lasers.

12.
Biomed Opt Express ; 5(11): 3981-9, 2014 Nov 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25426324

RESUMO

There is considerable interest in the interrogation of biological tissue at terahertz (THz) frequencies, largely due to the contrast in the optical properties of different biological tissues which occur in this electro-magnetic radiation band. Of particular interest are THz biomedical images, which have the potential to highlight different information than those acquired in other frequency bands, thereby providing an augmented picture of biological structures. In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of an interferometric biological imaging technique using a THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) operating at 2.59 THz to perform coherent imaging of porcine tissue samples. We show the potential of this new THz biomedical imaging technique for in vivo studies, by virtue of its reflection geometry and useful tissue penetration depth enabled by the large THz powers emitted by the quantum cascade laser used in this work. The observed clustering of interferometric tissue signatures opens a pathway towards automatic techniques for the discrimination of healthy tissue types for the study of normal physiology and possible therapeutic approaches.

13.
Opt Express ; 22(15): 18633-47, 2014 Jul 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25089482

RESUMO

Recently, we demonstrated an interferometric materials analysis scheme at terahertz frequencies based on the self-mixing effect in terahertz quantum cascade lasers. Here, we examine the impact of variations in laser operating parameters, target characteristics, laser-target system properties, and the quality calibration standards on our scheme. We show that our coherent scheme is intrinsically most sensitive to fluctuations in interferometric phase, arising primarily from variations in external cavity length. Moreover we demonstrate that the smallest experimental uncertainties in the determination of extinction coefficients are expected for lossy materials.

14.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 5(8): 1335-40, 2014 Apr 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26269977

RESUMO

We developed an accurate model accounting for electron-phonon interaction in colloidal quantum dot supercrystals that allowed us to identify the nature of charge carriers and the electrical transport regime. We find that in experimentally analyzed CdSe nanocrystal solids, the electron-phonon interaction is sufficiently strong that small polarons localized to single dots are formed. Charge-carrier transport occurs by small polaron hopping between the dots, with mobility that decreases with increasing temperature. While such a temperature dependence of mobility is usually considered as a proof of band transport, we show that the same type of dependence occurs in the system where transport is dominated by small polaron hopping.

15.
Opt Express ; 21(19): 22194-205, 2013 Sep 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24104111

RESUMO

The terahertz (THz) frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL) is a compact source of high-power radiation with a narrow intrinsic linewidth. As such, THz QCLs are extremely promising sources for applications including high-resolution spectroscopy, heterodyne detection, and coherent imaging. We exploit the remarkable phase-stability of THz QCLs to create a coherent swept-frequency delayed self-homodyning method for both imaging and materials analysis, using laser feedback interferometry. Using our scheme we obtain amplitude-like and phase-like images with minimal signal processing. We determine the physical relationship between the operating parameters of the laser under feedback and the complex refractive index of the target and demonstrate that this coherent detection method enables extraction of complex refractive indices with high accuracy. This establishes an ultimately compact and easy-to-implement THz imaging and materials analysis system, in which the local oscillator, mixer, and detector are all combined into a single laser.

16.
Opt Lett ; 36(13): 2587-9, 2011 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21725488

RESUMO

We demonstrate terahertz (THz) frequency imaging using a single quantum cascade laser (QCL) device for both generation and sensing of THz radiation. Detection is achieved by utilizing the effect of self-mixing in the THz QCL, and, specifically, by monitoring perturbations to the voltage across the QCL, induced by light reflected from an external object back into the laser cavity. Self-mixing imaging offers high sensitivity, a potentially fast response, and a simple, compact optical design, and we show that it can be used to obtain high-resolution reflection images of exemplar structures.

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