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Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 22, Iss. 9 — May. 5, 2014
  • pp: 11254–11266
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Quantum dash based single section mode locked lasers for photonic integrated circuits

Siddharth Joshi, Cosimo Calò, Nicolas Chimot, Mindaugas Radziunas, Rostislav Arkhipov, Sophie Barbet, Alain Accard, Abderrahim Ramdane, and Francois Lelarge  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 9, pp. 11254-11266 (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.22.011254


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Abstract

We present the first demonstration of an InAs/InP Quantum Dash based single-section frequency comb generator designed for use in photonic integrated circuits (PICs). The laser cavity is closed using a specifically designed Bragg reflector without compromising the mode-locking performance of the self pulsating laser. This enables the integration of single-section mode-locked laser in photonic integrated circuits as on-chip frequency comb generators. We also investigate the relations between cavity modes in such a device and demonstrate how the dispersion of the complex mode frequencies induced by the Bragg grating implies a violation of the equi-distance between the adjacent mode frequencies and, therefore, forbids the locking of the modes in a classical Bragg Device. Finally we integrate such a Bragg Mirror based laser with Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA) to demonstrate the monolithic integration of QDash based low phase noise sources in PICs.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

InAs Quantum dash (QDash) based lasers grown on commercially favoured InP(100) substrate have been of significant interest in recent years. This material system has been used to perform several demonstrations for Directly modulated lasers [1

1. B. Dagens, D. Make, F. Lelarge, B. Rousseau, M. Calligaro, M. Carbonnelle, F. Pommereau, A. Accard, F. Poingt, L. Le Gouezigou, C. Dernazaretian, O. Le Gouezigou, J. G. Provost, F. Van Dijk, P. Resneau, M. Krakowski, and G.-H. Duan, “High bandwidth operation of directly modulated laser based on quantum-dash InAs/InP material at 1.55μm,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 20, 903–905 (2008). [CrossRef]

, 2

2. N. Chimot, S. Joshi, F. Lelarge, A. Accard, J.-G. Provost, F. Franchin, and H. Debregeas-Sillard, “Qdash-based directly modulated lasers for next-generation access network,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 25, 1660–1663 (2013). [CrossRef]

] as well as for Mode locked lasers (MLLs). MLLs based on QDashes have been studied extensively both as frequency comb generators [3

3. A. Akrout, A. Shen, R. Brenot, F. Van-Dijk, O. Legouezigou, F. Pommereau, F. Lelarge, A. Ramdane, and G.-H. Duan, “Separate error-free transmission of eight channels at 10 gb/s using comb generation in a quantum-dash-based mode-locked laser,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 21, 1746–1748 (2009). [CrossRef]

] and as sub-pico-second pulsed laser sources. These QDash MLL have been investigated in both the two-section [4

4. R. Rosales, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, A. Akrout, J. P. Tourrenc, A. Accard, F. Lelarge, and A. Ramdane, “InAs/InP quantum-dot passively mode-locked lasers for 1.55/mum applications,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 17, 1292–1301 (2011). [CrossRef]

, 5

5. E. Martin, R. Watts, L. Bramerie, A. Shen, H. Gariah, F. Blache, F. Lelarge, and L. Barry, “Terahertz-bandwidth coherence measurements of a quantum dash laser in passive and active mode-locking operation,” Opt. Lett. 37, 4967–4969 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and single section [6

6. R. Rosales, S. G. Murdoch, R. Watts, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, F. Lelarge, A. Accard, L. P. Barry, and A. Ramdane, “High performance mode locking characteristics of single section quantum dash lasers,” Opt. Express 20, 8649–8657 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 7

7. E. Sooudi, G. Huyet, J. G. McInerney, F. Lelarge, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, A. Ramdane, and S. Hegarty, “Observation of harmonic-mode-locking in a mode-locked InAs/InP-based quantum-dash laser with cw optical injection,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 23, 549–551 (2011). [CrossRef]

] configurations. Of particular interest are single section devices, which exhibit self-mode locking and self-pulsation. In QDash lasers the phase relations between the optical modes allows to achieve typical MLL pulsations after propagation of the emitted light through a properly chosen length of standard single mode fibre.

It is therefore of great interest to monolithically integrate these frequency comb generators in PICs to fully exploit the unique performance of these lasers [8

8. E. Rafailov, M. Cataluna, and W. Sibbett, “Mode-locked quantum-dot lasers,” Nat. Photonics 1, 395–401 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. As the QDash lasers exhibits a wide spectral envelope, in the form of a frequency comb, the prime interest is to enable the integration with other devices on the indium phosphide platform and a possibility to set the channel spacing with lithographic precision. SOAs integrated to quantum well based MLL have been previously demonstrated by Akbar et al. [9

9. J. Akbar, L. Hou, M. Haji, M. J. Strain, J. H. Marsh, A. C. Bryce, and A. E. Kelly, “High power (130mw) 40ghz 1.55μm mode-locked distributed bragg reflector lasers with integrated optical amplifiers,” Opt. Lett. 37, 344–346 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and by Sato et al [10

10. K. Sato, A. Hirano, and H. Ishii, “Chirp-compensated 40-ghz mode-locked lasers integrated with electroabsorption modulators and chirped gratings,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 5, 590–595 (1999). [CrossRef]

], but the Radio-Frequency (RF) linewidth of the Quantum Well based MLs remains in the mega-Hertz range, making them maladapted for many applications. On the other hand singlesection QDash Fabry-Perot (FP) lasers exhibit RF linewidths as low as 10 kHz, making them interesting for low timing jitter applications.

In this paper we present a detailed study of an effective Bragg grating (BG) design that can be efficiently used to close the cavity without compromising the mode locking performance of the QDash laser. This approach hence maintains a kilo-Hertz order RF-line-width intrinsic to QDash Material system. As a demonstration of integration, we include on the laser bar a QDash-SOA. We also report for the first time, to our knowledge, on the integration of QDash based devices on InP and we demonstrate the on-chip generation and amplification of optical frequency combs for telecommunication applications generated by single-section QDash based ML laser.

2. InAs/InP quantum dash material

The accurate control over the material quality and the know-how in the growth of the InAs/InP quantum dashes has allowed numerous demonstrations for MLL based on this material system. For the present study the laser active region is composed of 6 InAs quantum dash layers embedded in InGaAsP barriers in dash-in-a-barrier (DBAR) design [11

11. F. Lelarge, B. Dagens, J. Renaudier, R. Brenot, A. Accard, F. van Dijk, D. Make, O. Le Gouezigou, J. Provost, F. Poingt, J. Landreau, O. Drisse, E. Derouin, B. Rousseau, F. Pommereau, and G.-H. Duan, “Recent advances on InAs/InP quantum dash based semiconductor lasers and optical amplifiers operating at 1.55 μm,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 111–124 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Buried ridge stripe (BRS) technology has been used for the fabrication of laser diodes. In order to assess the quality of the epitaxial structure for the fabrication of MLL, FP laser diodes have been processed. As shown in Fig. 1, threshold current as low as 20 mA and optical power output as large as 40mW can be achieved at 25°C for a 1000 μm long FP device having a ridge widths of 1.5 μm.

Fig. 1 Light Current characteristics of a 1000 μm long as cleaved FP QDash Laser with a ridge withd of 1.5 μm at temperatures between 25°C, and 85°C, showing optical powers of up to 40 mW at 25°C

A FP laser from such material also leads to a narrow RF line-widths of the order of tens of kilohertz. Fast photo-detection of the signal emitted by the device demonstrates effective mode locking for operating temperatures up to 90°C, highlighting the potential of QDash lasers for uncooled operation. RF line-widths down to 35 kHz and emission spectrum FWHM up to 12 nm (∼1.5 THz) were measured for a large range of temperatures on FP lasers of length 1000 μm and ridge width 1.5 μm, as shown in Fig. 2. These results demonstrate the robustness of frequency combs generated by Quantum Dash material.

Fig. 2 (a) Optical spectrum of the FP laser of 1000 μm length and 1.5 μm ridge width at 20°C, and 90°C and (b) corresponding RF line-widths

3. Distributed Bragg reflector design and theory

In this section we provide a theoretical analysis of the Bragg reflector design and identify the parameters of a Bragg reflector suitable to close the cavity of a FP Laser, maintaining the envelope in the orders of 10nm to 12nm. The specific requirement for such a Bragg reflector is a large passband to allow the entire FP spectrum to fit in, as opposed to conventional for the DBR lasers, where it is preferable to have a very narrow passband allowing emission of a single wavelength.

The temporal-spatial evolution of the slowly varying complex amplitudes of the counter-propagating optical fields E+(z, t) and E(z, t) within the uniform Bragg grating can be modelled by the travelling wave (TW) equations [12

12. U. Bendelow, M. Radziunas, J. Sieber, and M. Wolfrum, “Impact of gain dispersion on the spatio-temporal dynamics of multisection lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 37, 183–188 (2001). [CrossRef]

]:
ngc0tE±=[ziβ(z,t)𝒟]E±iκE+Fsp±.
(1)
The parameters c0, ng, and κ are the speed of light in vacuum, the group velocity index in semiconductor, and the field coupling coefficient due to the Bragg grating, respectively. To get basic field reflection and transmission properties in the passive Bragg grating, we neglect the Langevin noise term Fsp±, the complex propagation factor β (z, t) which should be defined by the dynamics of the carriers, and the linear operator 𝒟 used to describe the gain dispersion. In the frequency domain such a simplified system reads as
zE^+(z,ω)=iωngc0E^+(z,ω)iκE^(z,ω)
(2)
and
zE^(z,ω)=iκE^+(z,ω)+iωngc0E^(z,ω),
(3)
where ω is an optical frequency of the optical field relative to the reference frequency 2πc0λ0 (λ0 ≈ 1.55 μm: central wavelength). The solution of this system can be written as
E^(z,ω)=(coshηziωngc0ηsinhηziκηsinhηziκηsinhηzcoshηz+iωngc0ηsinhηz)E^(0,ω),
(4)
where E=(E+E), Ê denotes a frequency domain representation, η=κ2(ωngc0)2, and z is a longitudinal position within the Bragg grating such that z = 0 and z = LBG are the left and the right edges of the grating: see Fig. 3. Let us assume a non vanishing field incoming into the grating through its left side (Ê+(0, ω) ≠ 0), as well as a vanishing field reflection (R1 = 0) and, therefore, a vanishing backward propagating field at the right edge of the grating (Ê(LBG, ω) = 0). Then the Bragg grating induced wavelength (or frequency) dependent field amplitude and intensity reflections rBG(ω)=E^(0,ω)E^+(0,ω) and RBG(ω) = |rBG(ω)|2 are determined by
rBG(ω)=isinhηLBGηκcoshηLBG+iωngκc0sinhηLBG,
(5)
RBG(ω)=sinh2ηLBGcosh2ηLBG(ωngκc0)2.
(6)

Fig. 3 Schematic representation of the ML laser with the Bragg grating induced frequency dependent field reflection RBG(ω).

Equivalent expressions can be derived using the coupled mode formalism of Erdogan et al [13

13. T. Erdogan, “Fiber grating spectra,” J. Lightwave Technol. 15, 1277–1294 (1997). [CrossRef]

].

Using the above definition for the Bragg mirror, we modelled different gratings while maintaining the same peak reflectivity for each of the grating. Figure 4 shows the modeled reflectivity spectra of the designed Bragg gratings.

Fig. 4 Designed Bragg gratings with κ = 40cm−1, LBG = 250 μm; κ = 200cm−1, LBG = 50 μm; κ = 400cm−1, LBG = 25 μm showing corresponding passbands of about 2.8nm, 5.3nm and 28.6 nm respectively at the same maximum reflectivity of about 60%

With increase in coupling coefficient for the same length of the grating, both the reflectivity and the pass band increases, while increasing the length of the grating produces a minor increase in bandwidth while largely increasing the reflectivity. Thus, in order to emulate an as-cleaved facet, allowing the full mode-locked spectrum to pass through the Bragg grating, we use a grating with large coupling coefficient κ and a small length LBG.

4. Device fabrication and influence on mode locking characteristics

Devices were fabricated in buried ridge strip (BRS) geometry to qualify the Bragg grating, and also the influence of internal filtering on mode locking characteristics due to the Bragg mirrors. Three different types of grating-mirror lasers were fabricated with the pass bands as shown in Fig. 4. The desired coupling coefficient of each Bragg grating was achieved by controlling the etch depth of the grating. These gratings are etched on the ridge such that the effective gain section length is 1000 μm, giving an expected free spectral range of around 40 GHz. The fabricated structure had a gain section of 500 μm, and a Bragg section of 500 μm. The gain and Bragg sections have separate electrodes, which are connected together using a wire bonding. Thus electrical injection occurs in both gain and Bragg sections.

The gratings with low coupling coefficient (κ = 40cm−1) were fabricated with smaller etch depth than those with high coupling coefficient (κ = 400cm−1), for which a deep etch process was used. It is observed that increasing the passband of the Bragg grating produces a narrowing of the minimum RF linewidth achievable for the device. Figure 5 presents a comparison of the different Bragg gratings with the corresponding RF line-widths. Line-width values down to 40 kHz can be achieved for the laser with a passband of 10 nm which are comparable to those of as-cleaved FP lasers.

Fig. 5 Optical Spectres and RF Line-widths of Bragg Lasers with (a,d) κ = 40cm−1, LBG = 250 μm; (b,e) κ = 200cm−1, LBG = 50 μm; (c,f) κ = 400cm−1, LBG = 25 μm

It can be noted that the deep etch used for high coupling coefficient modifies the index contrast and hence for the same pitch of the grating the laser spectrum shifts towards longer wavelengths. It appears that for self-mode locked single section devices, in order to obtain a narrow RF-line-width and consequently low timing jitter pulse generation [14

14. F. Kefelian, S. O’Donoghue, M. Todaro, J. G. McInerney, and G. Huyet, “Rf linewidth in monolithic passively mode-locked semiconductor laser,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 20, 1405–1407 (2008). [CrossRef]

], it is necessary to have a certain number of longitudinal modes propagating inside the cavity. In section 5 we show that this fact can be attributed to the influence of the intrinsic phase modifications due to Bragg gratings.

For the laser with the largest pass band, the dependence of repetition frequency and RF line-width is studied as a function of injection current. Figure 6(a) shows a mapping of the RF spectrum with the laser bias current and the RF line-width for a current value of 300 mA.

Fig. 6 (a) RF-spectrum mapping for grating with κ = 400 cm−1, LBG = 25 μm, which shows regions with very narrow line-width (marked with arrows) with some fluctuations. (b) Corresponding RF line-width of 30 kHz obtained at a bias current of 310 mA. (c) RF-spectrum mapping for FP laser with similar fluctuations in RF line-width.

5. Influence of Bragg grating design on intrinsic phase of optical modes

It is observed from the results on the various designs of the Bragg gratings that the gratings with the low passband would result in a laser with very broad radio-frequency linewidth resulting in no auto-pulsations or very broad pulses. This can be attributed to the modification of the optical modes due to the Bragg grating. To evaluate an impact of the Bragg gratings on optical modes we perform a mathematical study of the TW equations (1) governing dynamics of the optical fields in a whole ML Bragg laser represented schematically in Fig. 3. The TW equations (1) are supplemented by the reflecting boundary conditions at the facets z = −LG and z = LBG of the laser:
E+(LG,t)=r0E(LG,t),E(LBG,t)=r1E+(LBG,t),
(7)
where r0=R0eiϕ0 and r1=R1eiϕ1 denote the complex field reflectivity coefficients at the laser facets. In our considerations we use the group velocity index ng = 3.6, the total length of laser L = LG + LBG = 1 mm, the amplifying section facet reflectivity coefficient R0 = 0.3 with the phase ϕ0 = 0, and the BG facet reflectivity R1 = 0 with ϕ1 = 0. We note also that the field coupling coefficient κ is non-vanishing only within the BG part of the laser, κ(z) = κBG ≠ 0 for z ∈ [0, LBG]. In this work we consider a few different Bragg gratings, such that κBGLBG = 1 within the BG section. For comparison, we discuss also a single section FP laser of length L and the right facet reflectivity determined by R1 = 0.6 and ϕ1 = 0, which corresponds to the peak reflectivity of the considered BG sections.

Like in discussions of Section 3 we ignore the spontaneous emission Fsp± and gain dispersion 𝒟 in (1), assuming that the gain spectra within the wavelength range of our interest is flat, whereas the main contribution to the gain dispersion comes from the BG part of the laser.

Let us rewrite the TW equations (1) in the operator form
itE=H(β)E,H(β)=defc0ng(izβκκizβ),
(8)
which for each fixed distribution β in conjunction with the boundary conditions (7) gives rise to the spectral problem
Ω(β)Θ(β,z)=H(β)Θ(β,z),Θ(β,0)~(r01),Θ(β,L)~(1rL).
(9)
For each fixed complex Ω this is a linear system of ODEs with some given boundary relations. It has a solution Θ(β,z)=(Θ+Θ) only for some infinite set of properly selected values of Ω, which are the eigenvalues of the spectral problem (9). Complex vector-eigenfunctions Θ(β, z) define spatial distribution of the optical modes, whereas real and imaginary parts of the complex eigenvalues Ω represent the main contribution to the optical frequency and the damping of the optical mode, respectively [16

16. M. Radziunas and H.-J. Wünsche, “Multisection lasers: Longitudinal modes and their dynamics,” in Optoelectronic Devices, J. Piprek, ed. (Springer, 2005), pp. 121–150. [CrossRef]

]. That is, the amplitude fk(t) of the k-th mode evolves according to
ddtfk=iΩkfk+lKklfl,
(10)
where carrier dependent functions Kkl define coupling between the modes, are proportional to the (small) ratio between the photon and carrier relaxation times, are inverse proportional to the separation between the complex mode frequencies, and vanish at all for single-section lasers with stationary and uniformly distributed β [16

16. M. Radziunas and H.-J. Wünsche, “Multisection lasers: Longitudinal modes and their dynamics,” in Optoelectronic Devices, J. Piprek, ed. (Springer, 2005), pp. 121–150. [CrossRef]

, 17

17. M. Radziunas, “Numerical bifurcation analysis of the traveling wave model of multisection semiconductor lasers,” Physica D Nonlinear Phenomena 213, 98–112 (2006). [CrossRef]

].

In general, the complex propagation factor β (z, t) in the QDot or QDash lasers operating at the ground state (GS) depends on the GS occupation probability [18

18. M. Radziunas, A. G. Vladimirov, E. A. Viktorov, G. Fiol, H. Schmeckebier, and D. Bimberg, “Pulse broadening in quantum-dot mode-locked semiconductor lasers: Simulation, analysis, and experiments,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 935–943 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. For ML lasers with a nearly constant emission intensity discussed in this paper this parameter should be nearly constant in time, and, therefore, should have a rather uniform distribution within each of the gain and the Bragg grating parts of the device. For simplicity, in the following analysis we assume that within all laser device β remains independent on carriers, i.e., β ≡ −/2, where α is the scattering losses of the field within the laser. This assumption does not allow to simulate the laser dynamics, but admits a proper description of the relations between the complex mode frequencies Ω(β). In the case of the FP laser (κ ≡ 0, LBG = 0, R1 = 0.6) one can easily solve Eq. (9) and find an infinite number of complex frequencies Ω, all of which have the same damping
γk=m(Ωk)=γ,γ=defc0ng(m(β)+ln(R0R1)L),
(11)
and the same frequency separation
Δk=e(ΩkΩk1)=Δ,Δ=defπc0ngL,
(12)
between the adjacent modes: see black bullets in Figs. 7(a) and 7(b). Such configuration of the mode frequencies is one of the decisive factors for the ML pulsations, since the complex mode amplitudes fk mainly evolve according to
fk(t)~eiΩkt=e(γ+iφk+ikΔ)t.
(13)
Once the time independent contributions φk to the phases of fk(t) become equal, the intensity of the superposition of several consequent modes shows ML pulses, separated by the period 2πΔ.

Fig. 7 Calculated mode damping ℑmk) (top) and frequency separation ℜek − Ωk−1) of the adjacent modes (bottom) vs mode frequency ℑmk) for the FP laser with R1 = 0.6 and the lasers with different BG satisfying κBGLBG = 1 and R1 = 0.

The introduction of the BG changes the relative positions of the complex mode frequencies Ω. For κBG = 40 cm−1 and LBG = 250 μm only a few modes located within the ∼ 300GHz wide stop-band have similar thresholds, whereas all other modes are strongly damped (green triangles in Fig. 7(a)). A typical performance of such distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) laser is cw operation at the maximal gain mode, or the mode-beating type pulsations involving a couple of modes [19

19. M. Radziunas, K. Hasler, B. Sumpf, T. Q. Tien, and H. Wenzel, “Mode transitions in distributed bragg reflector semiconductor lasers: experiments, simulations and analysis,” J. Phys. B At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 44, 105401 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. No good quality ML pulsations can be expected (see also Figs. 5(a) and 5(d)).

To our opinion, this strong variation of the mode separations is the main effect which drastically increases the RF-line-width as observed in experiments: cf. panels (e) and (f) of Fig. 5.

6. Integration of Bragg reflector laser with a semiconductor optical amplifier

To exploit the Bragg mirror approach for integration we fabricated the devices integrated monolithically to a quantum dash based semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). Figure 8 shows a micrograph picture of the device in which the first two sections on the left act as gain section, followed by an SOA with tilted taper. The length of the gain section is 1000 μm and that of the tapered SOA section of 1000 μm. The tapered facet of the SOA is anti-reflection coated.

Fig. 8 Optical micrograph of the device (top). Light Current characteristics of the device shown above with 1000 μm gain section followed by a 1000 μm SOA having a ridge width of 1.5μm at 25°C. Figure also shows the LI characteristics of such a laser when SOA is pumped with different currents.

The Light Current characteristics of the Bragg Mirrored Laser can also be seen in Fig. 8, where figure on the left show pure characteristics of the Laser, while the figure on the right indicated the amplification produced due to the SOA.

The radio frequency mapping was repeated after the amplification of the comb by the SOA, and it is observed that the SOA does not induce significant changes to the locking performance of the laser. This has also been observed by Akbar et al. [9

9. J. Akbar, L. Hou, M. Haji, M. J. Strain, J. H. Marsh, A. C. Bryce, and A. E. Kelly, “High power (130mw) 40ghz 1.55μm mode-locked distributed bragg reflector lasers with integrated optical amplifiers,” Opt. Lett. 37, 344–346 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] on conventional quantum well material. A similar RF line width is obtained after amplification from the SOA. The narrowest RF line width after amplification of comb is found to be ∼33 kHz. The RF mapping for constant current of 300 mA in the gain sections and varying current in the SOA and the RF linewidth for an SOA current of 200 mA is shown in Fig. 9.

Fig. 9 (a) RF-spectrum mapping for grating with κ =400cm−1, LBG = 25 μm, which shows regions with very narrow line-width with some fluctuations at discrete SOA current regions. In this mapping the current electrical injection on the gain section is kept constant to around 300 mA and the electrical current on the SOA section is varied between 0 and 300 mA. (b) Corresponding RF line-width of 33 kHz obtained at 300 mA current to gain and 150 mA on SOA.

The narrowest RF line-width with and without bias current for the SOA section are found to be comparable. However, current injection in the SOA section produces a change in the regions of effective mode-locking, with respect to laser operation in absence of bias on the SOA. This effect is attributed to the interaction of the laser emission with the amplified spontaneous emission coming from the SOA, in addition to the device heating due to current injection in the SOA. Effective mode-locking regions for current ranges in excess of 50 mA can still be found. The narrow RF line-widths is accompanied by self pulsation with puse duration down to 1.4 ps, measured by intensity autocorrelation, after chirp compensation with 120 m of SMF. Thanks to the mode shape converter of the SOA, an effective gain of about +10 dB can be obtained in the optical power coupled in the fiber. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of integration of a low phase noise comb source with SOA based on quantum dashes on InP. This opens the way for integration of QDash lasers with e.g. a modulator section for Radio-over-Fibre applications.

6.1. Frequency comb modulation

It is desirable to modulate the mode locked lasers for certain applications, like Radio over Fibre (RoF). In RoF the mode beating frequency is used as a carrier wave thus eliminating the need of an external RF source. However it is still necessary to modulate the light signal with the data, which is performed using an external Mach Zehnder modulator or by directly modulating the laser. The direct modulation scheme is favourable due to its compactness but it had been demonstrated that the direct modulation of the gain section produces a perturbation of the RF-line-width [20

20. F. Brendel, J. Yi, J. Poette, B. Cabon, and T. Zwick, “Properties of millimeter-wave signal generation and modulation using mode-locked q-dash lasers for gigabit rf-over-fiber links,” in The 7th German Microwave Conference (GeMiC)(2012), pp. 1–4.

]. The monolithic integration of a modulator section with the Bragg laser would solve the issue. The device as shown in Fig. 8 can be configured to modulate the SOA to obtain a modulated frequency comb. Up to 5 Gbps on-off keying modulation was demonstrated on the present device, as shown in Fig. 10.

Fig. 10 (a) Bit error ratio, using the SOA section as a modulator (b) Eye pattern at 2.5 Gbps with an 8dB extinction ratio and at 5Gbps with 3dB extinction ratio

Such BRS based SOA is however not the ideal candidate for the modulation operation but it demonstrates the potential of the Bragg section for the PICs. Thus, if used with a short modulator section, this approach could provide efficient modulation without producing any significant changes in the mode-locking characteristics of the laser.

7. Summary

We report on the first demonstration of a Bragg based QDash-MLL which opens the way for integration of QDash based frequency combs generators on InP photonic integrated circuits. A specific Bragg mirror design is presented which allows to close the cavity without compromising the ML performance. Based on a detailed travelling-wave model it is found that the difference of mode-separation due to dispersion of the grating can be minimized for gratings with high coupling coefficient. This allows modes to phase lock just as they do in a single section FP device. The approach of Bragg mirrors for closing the cavity is of particular interest as it allows integration of such lasers on photonic integrated circuits and in addition provide with a possibility to set the channel spacing and repetition frequency with lithographic precisions. We have integrated this Bragg-ML laser with a semiconductor optical amplifier as a demonstration of the potential of this approach for integration. The Bragg mirror can also be used to compensate the laser intra-cavity dispersion as presented by Sato et al. [10

10. K. Sato, A. Hirano, and H. Ishii, “Chirp-compensated 40-ghz mode-locked lasers integrated with electroabsorption modulators and chirped gratings,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 5, 590–595 (1999). [CrossRef]

] and Strain et al. [21

21. M. Strain, P. Stolarz, and M. Sorel, “Passively mode-locked lasers with integrated chirped bragg grating reflectors,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 492–499 (2011). [CrossRef]

], but this would need detailed study on the material dispersion property of QDash material and also consequent change in the design of the Bragg mirror according to the gain spectrum of QDashes.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the support of EU FP7 ITN PROPHET, Grant No. 264687 and Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France for TELDOT project. M. Radziunas has been also supported by DFG Research Center Matheon.

References and links

1.

B. Dagens, D. Make, F. Lelarge, B. Rousseau, M. Calligaro, M. Carbonnelle, F. Pommereau, A. Accard, F. Poingt, L. Le Gouezigou, C. Dernazaretian, O. Le Gouezigou, J. G. Provost, F. Van Dijk, P. Resneau, M. Krakowski, and G.-H. Duan, “High bandwidth operation of directly modulated laser based on quantum-dash InAs/InP material at 1.55μm,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 20, 903–905 (2008). [CrossRef]

2.

N. Chimot, S. Joshi, F. Lelarge, A. Accard, J.-G. Provost, F. Franchin, and H. Debregeas-Sillard, “Qdash-based directly modulated lasers for next-generation access network,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 25, 1660–1663 (2013). [CrossRef]

3.

A. Akrout, A. Shen, R. Brenot, F. Van-Dijk, O. Legouezigou, F. Pommereau, F. Lelarge, A. Ramdane, and G.-H. Duan, “Separate error-free transmission of eight channels at 10 gb/s using comb generation in a quantum-dash-based mode-locked laser,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 21, 1746–1748 (2009). [CrossRef]

4.

R. Rosales, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, A. Akrout, J. P. Tourrenc, A. Accard, F. Lelarge, and A. Ramdane, “InAs/InP quantum-dot passively mode-locked lasers for 1.55/mum applications,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 17, 1292–1301 (2011). [CrossRef]

5.

E. Martin, R. Watts, L. Bramerie, A. Shen, H. Gariah, F. Blache, F. Lelarge, and L. Barry, “Terahertz-bandwidth coherence measurements of a quantum dash laser in passive and active mode-locking operation,” Opt. Lett. 37, 4967–4969 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6.

R. Rosales, S. G. Murdoch, R. Watts, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, F. Lelarge, A. Accard, L. P. Barry, and A. Ramdane, “High performance mode locking characteristics of single section quantum dash lasers,” Opt. Express 20, 8649–8657 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

E. Sooudi, G. Huyet, J. G. McInerney, F. Lelarge, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, A. Ramdane, and S. Hegarty, “Observation of harmonic-mode-locking in a mode-locked InAs/InP-based quantum-dash laser with cw optical injection,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 23, 549–551 (2011). [CrossRef]

8.

E. Rafailov, M. Cataluna, and W. Sibbett, “Mode-locked quantum-dot lasers,” Nat. Photonics 1, 395–401 (2007). [CrossRef]

9.

J. Akbar, L. Hou, M. Haji, M. J. Strain, J. H. Marsh, A. C. Bryce, and A. E. Kelly, “High power (130mw) 40ghz 1.55μm mode-locked distributed bragg reflector lasers with integrated optical amplifiers,” Opt. Lett. 37, 344–346 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

10.

K. Sato, A. Hirano, and H. Ishii, “Chirp-compensated 40-ghz mode-locked lasers integrated with electroabsorption modulators and chirped gratings,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 5, 590–595 (1999). [CrossRef]

11.

F. Lelarge, B. Dagens, J. Renaudier, R. Brenot, A. Accard, F. van Dijk, D. Make, O. Le Gouezigou, J. Provost, F. Poingt, J. Landreau, O. Drisse, E. Derouin, B. Rousseau, F. Pommereau, and G.-H. Duan, “Recent advances on InAs/InP quantum dash based semiconductor lasers and optical amplifiers operating at 1.55 μm,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 111–124 (2007). [CrossRef]

12.

U. Bendelow, M. Radziunas, J. Sieber, and M. Wolfrum, “Impact of gain dispersion on the spatio-temporal dynamics of multisection lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 37, 183–188 (2001). [CrossRef]

13.

T. Erdogan, “Fiber grating spectra,” J. Lightwave Technol. 15, 1277–1294 (1997). [CrossRef]

14.

F. Kefelian, S. O’Donoghue, M. Todaro, J. G. McInerney, and G. Huyet, “Rf linewidth in monolithic passively mode-locked semiconductor laser,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 20, 1405–1407 (2008). [CrossRef]

15.

F. Kéfélian, S. O’Donoghue, M. T. Todaro, J. McInerney, and G. Huyet, “Experimental investigation of different regimes of mode-locking in a high repetition rate passively mode-locked semiconductor quantum-dot laser,” Opt. Express 17, 6258–6267 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

M. Radziunas and H.-J. Wünsche, “Multisection lasers: Longitudinal modes and their dynamics,” in Optoelectronic Devices, J. Piprek, ed. (Springer, 2005), pp. 121–150. [CrossRef]

17.

M. Radziunas, “Numerical bifurcation analysis of the traveling wave model of multisection semiconductor lasers,” Physica D Nonlinear Phenomena 213, 98–112 (2006). [CrossRef]

18.

M. Radziunas, A. G. Vladimirov, E. A. Viktorov, G. Fiol, H. Schmeckebier, and D. Bimberg, “Pulse broadening in quantum-dot mode-locked semiconductor lasers: Simulation, analysis, and experiments,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 935–943 (2011). [CrossRef]

19.

M. Radziunas, K. Hasler, B. Sumpf, T. Q. Tien, and H. Wenzel, “Mode transitions in distributed bragg reflector semiconductor lasers: experiments, simulations and analysis,” J. Phys. B At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 44, 105401 (2011). [CrossRef]

20.

F. Brendel, J. Yi, J. Poette, B. Cabon, and T. Zwick, “Properties of millimeter-wave signal generation and modulation using mode-locked q-dash lasers for gigabit rf-over-fiber links,” in The 7th German Microwave Conference (GeMiC)(2012), pp. 1–4.

21.

M. Strain, P. Stolarz, and M. Sorel, “Passively mode-locked lasers with integrated chirped bragg grating reflectors,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 492–499 (2011). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers
(250.0250) Optoelectronics : Optoelectronics
(250.5300) Optoelectronics : Photonic integrated circuits
(250.5590) Optoelectronics : Quantum-well, -wire and -dot devices

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: January 22, 2014
Revised Manuscript: March 15, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: March 16, 2014
Published: May 2, 2014

Citation
Siddharth Joshi, Cosimo Calò, Nicolas Chimot, Mindaugas Radziunas, Rostislav Arkhipov, Sophie Barbet, Alain Accard, Abderrahim Ramdane, and Francois Lelarge, "Quantum dash based single section mode locked lasers for photonic integrated circuits," Opt. Express 22, 11254-11266 (2014)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-22-9-11254


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References

  1. B. Dagens, D. Make, F. Lelarge, B. Rousseau, M. Calligaro, M. Carbonnelle, F. Pommereau, A. Accard, F. Poingt, L. Le Gouezigou, C. Dernazaretian, O. Le Gouezigou, J. G. Provost, F. Van Dijk, P. Resneau, M. Krakowski, G.-H. Duan, “High bandwidth operation of directly modulated laser based on quantum-dash InAs/InP material at 1.55μm,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 20, 903–905 (2008). [CrossRef]
  2. N. Chimot, S. Joshi, F. Lelarge, A. Accard, J.-G. Provost, F. Franchin, H. Debregeas-Sillard, “Qdash-based directly modulated lasers for next-generation access network,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 25, 1660–1663 (2013). [CrossRef]
  3. A. Akrout, A. Shen, R. Brenot, F. Van-Dijk, O. Legouezigou, F. Pommereau, F. Lelarge, A. Ramdane, G.-H. Duan, “Separate error-free transmission of eight channels at 10 gb/s using comb generation in a quantum-dash-based mode-locked laser,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 21, 1746–1748 (2009). [CrossRef]
  4. R. Rosales, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, A. Akrout, J. P. Tourrenc, A. Accard, F. Lelarge, A. Ramdane, “InAs/InP quantum-dot passively mode-locked lasers for 1.55/mum applications,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 17, 1292–1301 (2011). [CrossRef]
  5. E. Martin, R. Watts, L. Bramerie, A. Shen, H. Gariah, F. Blache, F. Lelarge, L. Barry, “Terahertz-bandwidth coherence measurements of a quantum dash laser in passive and active mode-locking operation,” Opt. Lett. 37, 4967–4969 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. R. Rosales, S. G. Murdoch, R. Watts, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, F. Lelarge, A. Accard, L. P. Barry, A. Ramdane, “High performance mode locking characteristics of single section quantum dash lasers,” Opt. Express 20, 8649–8657 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. E. Sooudi, G. Huyet, J. G. McInerney, F. Lelarge, K. Merghem, A. Martinez, A. Ramdane, S. Hegarty, “Observation of harmonic-mode-locking in a mode-locked InAs/InP-based quantum-dash laser with cw optical injection,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 23, 549–551 (2011). [CrossRef]
  8. E. Rafailov, M. Cataluna, W. Sibbett, “Mode-locked quantum-dot lasers,” Nat. Photonics 1, 395–401 (2007). [CrossRef]
  9. J. Akbar, L. Hou, M. Haji, M. J. Strain, J. H. Marsh, A. C. Bryce, A. E. Kelly, “High power (130mw) 40ghz 1.55μm mode-locked distributed bragg reflector lasers with integrated optical amplifiers,” Opt. Lett. 37, 344–346 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. K. Sato, A. Hirano, H. Ishii, “Chirp-compensated 40-ghz mode-locked lasers integrated with electroabsorption modulators and chirped gratings,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 5, 590–595 (1999). [CrossRef]
  11. F. Lelarge, B. Dagens, J. Renaudier, R. Brenot, A. Accard, F. van Dijk, D. Make, O. Le Gouezigou, J. Provost, F. Poingt, J. Landreau, O. Drisse, E. Derouin, B. Rousseau, F. Pommereau, G.-H. Duan, “Recent advances on InAs/InP quantum dash based semiconductor lasers and optical amplifiers operating at 1.55 μm,” J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13, 111–124 (2007). [CrossRef]
  12. U. Bendelow, M. Radziunas, J. Sieber, M. Wolfrum, “Impact of gain dispersion on the spatio-temporal dynamics of multisection lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 37, 183–188 (2001). [CrossRef]
  13. T. Erdogan, “Fiber grating spectra,” J. Lightwave Technol. 15, 1277–1294 (1997). [CrossRef]
  14. F. Kefelian, S. O’Donoghue, M. Todaro, J. G. McInerney, G. Huyet, “Rf linewidth in monolithic passively mode-locked semiconductor laser,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 20, 1405–1407 (2008). [CrossRef]
  15. F. Kéfélian, S. O’Donoghue, M. T. Todaro, J. McInerney, G. Huyet, “Experimental investigation of different regimes of mode-locking in a high repetition rate passively mode-locked semiconductor quantum-dot laser,” Opt. Express 17, 6258–6267 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. M. Radziunas, H.-J. Wünsche, “Multisection lasers: Longitudinal modes and their dynamics,” in Optoelectronic Devices, J. Piprek, ed. (Springer, 2005), pp. 121–150. [CrossRef]
  17. M. Radziunas, “Numerical bifurcation analysis of the traveling wave model of multisection semiconductor lasers,” Physica D Nonlinear Phenomena 213, 98–112 (2006). [CrossRef]
  18. M. Radziunas, A. G. Vladimirov, E. A. Viktorov, G. Fiol, H. Schmeckebier, D. Bimberg, “Pulse broadening in quantum-dot mode-locked semiconductor lasers: Simulation, analysis, and experiments,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 935–943 (2011). [CrossRef]
  19. M. Radziunas, K. Hasler, B. Sumpf, T. Q. Tien, H. Wenzel, “Mode transitions in distributed bragg reflector semiconductor lasers: experiments, simulations and analysis,” J. Phys. B At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 44, 105401 (2011). [CrossRef]
  20. F. Brendel, J. Yi, J. Poette, B. Cabon, T. Zwick, “Properties of millimeter-wave signal generation and modulation using mode-locked q-dash lasers for gigabit rf-over-fiber links,” in The 7th German Microwave Conference (GeMiC)(2012), pp. 1–4.
  21. M. Strain, P. Stolarz, M. Sorel, “Passively mode-locked lasers with integrated chirped bragg grating reflectors,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 47, 492–499 (2011). [CrossRef]

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