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Wavelength-Stabilized Semiconductor Laser

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047132D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chambliss, DD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

An injection laser structure is described having a lasing junction region and a non-lasing junction region fabricated from different bandgap materials such that index of refraction variations with temperature in the non-lasing region exactly cancel temperature-induced wavelength variations in the lasing region, thereby producing a laser with a wavelength nearly independent of temperature. Residual variations may be removed by modulating the current in the non-lasing region. The narrow linewidth and demonstrated long coherence length of semiconductor lasers suggest their use in interferometric applications, such as metrology, and in heterodyne communications systems. Progress in this area has been hampered up to now by the poor temperature stability of the lasing wavelength.

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Wavelength-Stabilized Semiconductor Laser

An injection laser structure is described having a lasing junction region and a non-lasing junction region fabricated from different bandgap materials such that index of refraction variations with temperature in the non-lasing region exactly cancel temperature-induced wavelength variations in the lasing region, thereby producing a laser with a wavelength nearly independent of temperature. Residual variations may be removed by modulating the current in the non-lasing region. The narrow linewidth and demonstrated long coherence length of semiconductor lasers suggest their use in interferometric applications, such as metrology, and in heterodyne communications systems. Progress in this area has been hampered up to now by the poor temperature stability of the lasing wavelength. Attempts have been made to use closed-loop stabilization of the wavelength through use of a Fabry-Perot interferometer and temperature control of the laser die. This approach is difficult to implement, and still does not achieve the stability required due to the fundamental properties of the cavity to be described. An alternative approach is to vary the laser current in sympathy with temperature variations, which is very attractive, but is unusable because of the concommitant variations in laser intensity with temperature. We propose an alternative laser structure which allows control of the laser wavelength, independent of its intensity. A possible structure for a wavelength-tunable GaAs-(GaAl)As injection laser is illustrated. The cavity is split into two parts, formed of materials with slightly different b...