Ultrafast harmonic mode-locking of monolithic compound-cavity laser diodes incorporating photonic-bandgap reflectors

D A Yanson, M W Street, S D McDougall, I G Thayne, J H Marsh, E A Avrutin

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We present the first demonstration of reproducible harmonic mode-locked operation from a novel design of monolithic semiconductor laser comprising a compound cavity formed by a 1-D photonic-bandgap (PBG) mirror. Mode-locking (ML) is achieved at a harmonic of the fundamental round-trip frequency with pulse repetition rates from 131 GHz up to a record high frequency of 2.1 THz. The devices are fabricated from GaAs-Al-GaAs material emitting at a wavelength of 860 nm and incorporate two gain sections with an etched PBG reflector between them, and a saturable absorber section. Autocorrelation studies are reported which allow the device behavior for different ML frequencies, compound cavity ratios, and type and number of intra-cavity reflectors to be analyzed. The highly reflective PBG microstructures are shown to be essential for subharmonic-free ML operation of the high-frequency devices. We have also demonstrated that the single PBG reflector can be replaced by two separate features with lower optical loss. These lasers may find applications in terahertz; imaging, medicine, ultrafast optical links, and atmospheric sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002

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  • microwave generation
  • mode-locked lasers
  • optical modulation
  • optoelectronic devices
  • quantum-well lasers
  • semiconductor lasers
  • submillimeter wave generation
  • submillimeter wave modulation

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