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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter June 17, 2016

Quantum Cascade Laser Frequency Combs

  • Jérôme Faist EMAIL logo , Gustavo Villares , Giacomo Scalari , Markus Rösch , Christopher Bonzon , Andreas Hugi and Mattias Beck
From the journal Nanophotonics

Abstract

It was recently demonstrated that broadband quantum cascade lasers can operate as frequency combs. As such, they operate under direct electrical pumping at both mid-infrared and THz frequencies, making them very attractive for dual-comb spectroscopy. Performance levels are continuously improving, with average powers over 100mW and frequency coverage of 100 cm-1 in the mid-infrared region. In the THz range, 10mW of average power and 600 GHz of frequency coverage are reported. As a result of the very short upper state lifetime of the gain medium, the mode proliferation in these sources arises from four-wave mixing rather than saturable absorption. As a result, their optical output is characterized by the tendency of small intensity modulation of the output power, and the relative phases of the modes to be similar to the ones of a frequency modulated laser. Recent results include the proof of comb operation down to a metrological level, the observation of a Schawlow-Townes broadened linewidth, as well as the first dual-comb spectroscopy measurements. The capability of the structure to integrate monothically nonlinear optical elements as well as to operate as a detector shows great promise for future chip integration of dual-comb systems.

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Received: 2015-10-25
Accepted: 2015-12-30
Published Online: 2016-6-17
Published in Print: 2016-6-1

© 2016

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