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Title: Electrical tuning of a terahertz quantum cascade laser based on detuned intersubband absorption

Abstract

A mechanism to electrically tune the frequency of terahertz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) is developed that allows for tuning, while the QCL is operated close to its peak bias and temperature. Two optically coupled but electrically isolated cavities are used in which the bias of a control cavity tunes the resonant-mode of the coupled QCL cavity independent of the QCL's operating bias. Approximately 4 GHz electrical tuning is realized for a 3.6 THz distributed-feedback QCL operating in pulsed mode at 58 K in a Stirling cooler. The single-mode QCL emits near-constant peak-power in the range of 5$-$5.3 mW through the tuning range and radiates in a narrow single-lobed beam with a far-field divergence of ~4°×11°. The superlattice structure of the QCL is designed to implement a low-voltage intersubband absorption transition that is detuned from that of its gain transition, the strength of which could be controlled sensitively with applied voltage utilizing resonant-tunneling injection of electrons in the absorption subband. Finally, the tuning is realized by the application of small bias voltages (~6$-$7 V) and requires a narrow bias range (~1 V, ~40 A/cm 2) to traverse across the entire tuning range, and the method should be generally applicable to allmore » intersubband lasers including mid-infrared QCLs.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA (United States). Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  2. TRUMPF Photonics, Cranbury, NJ (United States)
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Center of Integrated Nanotechnologies
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1574708
Report Number(s):
SAND-2019-7790J
Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951; 677202
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Gao, Liang, Zhao, Le, Reno, John L., and Kumar, Sushil. Electrical tuning of a terahertz quantum cascade laser based on detuned intersubband absorption. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5118770.
Gao, Liang, Zhao, Le, Reno, John L., & Kumar, Sushil. Electrical tuning of a terahertz quantum cascade laser based on detuned intersubband absorption. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5118770.
Gao, Liang, Zhao, Le, Reno, John L., and Kumar, Sushil. Mon . "Electrical tuning of a terahertz quantum cascade laser based on detuned intersubband absorption". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5118770.
@article{osti_1574708,
title = {Electrical tuning of a terahertz quantum cascade laser based on detuned intersubband absorption},
author = {Gao, Liang and Zhao, Le and Reno, John L. and Kumar, Sushil},
abstractNote = {A mechanism to electrically tune the frequency of terahertz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) is developed that allows for tuning, while the QCL is operated close to its peak bias and temperature. Two optically coupled but electrically isolated cavities are used in which the bias of a control cavity tunes the resonant-mode of the coupled QCL cavity independent of the QCL's operating bias. Approximately 4 GHz electrical tuning is realized for a 3.6 THz distributed-feedback QCL operating in pulsed mode at 58 K in a Stirling cooler. The single-mode QCL emits near-constant peak-power in the range of 5$-$5.3 mW through the tuning range and radiates in a narrow single-lobed beam with a far-field divergence of ~4°×11°. The superlattice structure of the QCL is designed to implement a low-voltage intersubband absorption transition that is detuned from that of its gain transition, the strength of which could be controlled sensitively with applied voltage utilizing resonant-tunneling injection of electrons in the absorption subband. Finally, the tuning is realized by the application of small bias voltages (~6$-$7 V) and requires a narrow bias range (~1 V, ~40 A/cm2) to traverse across the entire tuning range, and the method should be generally applicable to all intersubband lasers including mid-infrared QCLs.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5118770},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 14,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
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