frequency stabilization, dual grating reflector, semiconductor lasers, broad area lasers, high power


A new fully integrated wavelength stabilization scheme based on grating-coupled surface-emitting lasers is explored. This wavelength stabilization scheme relies on two gratings. The first grating is fabricated on the p-side of the semiconductor laser in close proximity to the laser waveguide such that it couples light out of the guided mode of the waveguide into a propagating mode in the substrate; this grating is known as the grating coupler. The second grating is fabricated on the n-side of the substrate such that for the stabilization wavelength, this second grating operates in the Littrow condition and is known as the feedback grating. Furthermore with the proper design of the two gratings, the feedback grating will operate under total internal reflection conditions allowing a near unity retro-reflection of the light of the stabilization wavelength. The grating coupler and feedback grating together comprise a dual grating reflector (DGR). The DGR wavelength stabilization scheme is investigated both theoretically by means of numerical modeling and experimentally by integration of a DGR as a wavelength selective reflector into a single quantum well semiconductor laser with a gain peak centered at 975nm. Numerical modeling predicts a peak reflection of approximately 70% including losses and a spectral width of 0.3nm. The integration of a DGR into a semiconductor laser proved both the efficacy of the scheme and also allowed us to experimentally determine the effective reflectivity to be on the order of 62%; the spectral width of light output from these devices is typically on the order of 0.2nm. Furthermore, these devices had light-current characteristic slopes greater than 0.84W/A operating under continuous wave conditions. The DGR was then modified to provide a reflection with two spectral peaks. A semiconductor device incorporating this dual wavelength DGR was fabricated and tested. These devices showed a peak optical power of in excess of 5.5W and a light-current characteristic slope of 0.86W/A in quasi continuous wave operation; these devices also exhibit a large operating current range in which both wavelengths have comparable output powers. Another modified DGR design was investigated for the purpose of providing an even narrower spectral reflection. Devices incorporating this modified design provided an output with a spectral width as narrow as 0.06nm. DGRs were also integrated into an extremely broad area device of an unorthodox geometry; square devices that lase in two orthogonal directions were fabricated and tested. The last idea investigated was combining a DGR wavelength stabilized laser with a tapered semiconductor optical amplifier into a master oscillator power amplifier device, with the optical coupling between the two components provided by identical grating couplers disposed on the p-side surfaces of each of the devices. These master oscillator power amplifiers provide a peak power of 32W when operating under quasi continuous wave operation.


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Johnson, Eric


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics

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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)