An experimental method is presented for characterization of the combined intensity and frequency modulation produced when the injection current of a laser diode is modulated. The reported technique is based on the analysis of the harmonic signals produced when a modulated laser is used to probe a gas absorption line by the so-called wavelength-modulation spectroscopy method. Based on a theoretical model of this technique, we present two methods that facilitate the determination of (i) the deviation in laser frequency and (ii) the phase shift between intensity and frequency modulation. These methods are illustrated experimentally by measurement of the modulation parameters of a 2-μm distributed-feedback laser by use of a CO<sub>2</sub> absorption line. The experimental results have been compared with those obtained with another traditional method and have shown full agreement in the frequency range (400 Hz-30 kHz) considered.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers
(300.6260) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, diode lasers
(300.6380) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, modulation
Stéphane Schilt and Luc Thévenaz, "Experimental Method Based on Wavelength-Modulation Spectroscopy for the Characterization of Semiconductor Lasers under Direct Modulation," Appl. Opt. 43, 4446-4453 (2004)