Properties and applications of injection locking in 1.55 μm quantum-dash mode-locked semiconductor lasers

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Sooudi, Ehsan
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University College Cork
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Mode-locked semiconductor lasers are compact pulsed sources with ultra-narrow pulse widths and high repetition-rates. In order to use these sources in real applications, their performance needs to be optimised in several aspects, usually by external control. We experimentally investigate the behaviour of recently-developed quantum-dash mode-locked lasers (QDMLLs) emitting at 1.55 μm under external optical injection. Single-section and two-section lasers with different repetition frequencies and active-region structures are studied. Particularly, we are interested in a regime which the laser remains mode-locked and the individual modes are simultaneously phase-locked to the external laser. Injection-locked self-mode-locked lasers demonstrate tunable microwave generation at first or second harmonic of the free-running repetition frequency with sub-MHz RF linewidth. For two-section mode-locked lasers, using dual-mode optical injection (injection of two coherent CW lines), narrowing the RF linewidth close to that of the electrical source, narrowing the optical linewidths and reduction in the time-bandwidth product is achieved. Under optimised bias conditions of the slave laser, a repetition frequency tuning ratio >2% is achieved, a record for a monolithic semiconductor mode-locked laser. In addition, we demonstrate a novel all-optical stabilisation technique for mode-locked semiconductor lasers by combination of CW optical injection and optical feedback to simultaneously improve the time-bandwidth product and timing-jitter of the laser. This scheme does not need an RF source and no optical to electrical conversion is required and thus is ideal for photonic integration. Finally, an application of injection-locked mode-locked lasers is introduced in a multichannel phase-sensitive amplifier (PSA). We show that with dual-mode injection-locking, simultaneous phase-synchronisation of two channels to local pump sources is realised through one injection-locking stage. An experimental proof of concept is demonstrated for two 10 Gbps phase-encoded (DPSK) channels showing more than 7 dB phase-sensitive gain and less than 1 dB penalty of the receiver sensitivity.
Chirp , Optical injection , Injection-locking , Optical frequency combs , Microwave generation , Timing jitter , Quantum dot lasers , Semiconductor mode-locked lasers , Quantum-dash lasers , Phase-sensitive amplifiers , Optical feedback
Sooudi, E. 2013. Properties and applications of injection locking in 1.55 μm quantum-dash mode-locked semiconductor lasers. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.