Voltage properties of optically injected long wavelength VCSELs: Theory and experiment

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Daly, Aidan John
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University College Cork
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Future high speed communications networks will transmit data predominantly over optical fibres. As consumer and enterprise computing will remain the domain of electronics, the electro-optical conversion will get pushed further downstream towards the end user. Consequently, efficient tools are needed for this conversion and due to many potential advantages, including low cost and high output powers, long wavelength Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) are a viable option. Drawbacks, such as broader linewidths than competing options, can be mitigated through the use of additional techniques such as Optical Injection Locking (OIL) which can require significant expertise and expensive equipment. This thesis addresses these issues by removing some of the experimental barriers to achieving performance increases via remote OIL. Firstly, numerical simulations of the phase and the photon and carrier numbers of an OIL semiconductor laser allowed the classification of the stable locking phase limits into three distinct groups. The frequency detuning of constant phase values (ø) was considered, in particular ø = 0 where the modulation response parameters were shown to be independent of the linewidth enhancement factor, α. A new method to estimate α and the coupling rate in a single experiment was formulated. Secondly, a novel technique to remotely determine the locked state of a VCSEL based on voltage variations of 2mV−30mV during detuned injection has been developed which can identify oscillatory and locked states. 2D & 3D maps of voltage, optical and electrical spectra illustrate corresponding behaviours. Finally, the use of directly modulated VCSELs as light sources for passive optical networks was investigated by successful transmission of data at 10 Gbit/s over 40km of single mode fibre (SMF) using cost effective electronic dispersion compensation to mitigate errors due to wavelength chirp. A widely tuneable MEMS-VCSEL was established as a good candidate for an externally modulated colourless source after a record error free transmission at 10 Gbit/s over 50km of SMF across a 30nm single mode tuning range. The ability to remotely set the emission wavelength using the novel methods developed in this thesis was demonstrated.
Voltage , Optical injection , Vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL)
Daly, A. J. 2014. Voltage properties of optically injected long wavelength VCSELs: Theory and experiment. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.