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A passively mode-locked external-cavity semiconductor laser emitting 60-fs pulses

A passively mode-locked external-cavity semiconductor laser emitting 60-fs pulses
A passively mode-locked external-cavity semiconductor laser emitting 60-fs pulses
Optical pulses of duration a few tens of femtoseconds drive applications from attoscience to metrology, yet femtosecond lasers remain bulky and expensive items based on vibronic crystal or ytterbium-doped silica fibre gain media. Although in principle band-gap-engineered quantum-confined semiconductor materials have significant advantages of gain bandwidth, and spectral versatility, semiconductor lasers have not to date been capable of generating comparably short pulses. Here we describe an optically-pumped InGaAs/GaAs quantum well (QW) laser that is passively mode-locked using an intracavity semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) and emits 60-fs pulses at 1037 nm with optical spectrum bandwidth of 20 nm full-width half-maximum (FWHM). In this laser, fast optical Stark self-absorption modulation and strong gain saturation combine to shape pulses on the timescale of carrier-carrier scattering. The cavity contains a stable group of circulating pulses, regularly spaced at an interval fixed by the time over which the saturated gain recovers.
ultrafast semiconductor laser
1749-4885
729-731
Quarterman, Adrian H.
fd24baf5-7019-4efc-84e7-049291efd58f
Wilcox, Keith G.
b7c8da76-3530-4cbf-aaec-ffa11c347230
Apostolopoulos, Vasilis
8a898740-4c71-4040-a577-9b9d70530b4d
Mihoubi, Zakaria
e705e824-c2ac-4d29-9f4a-36d7ba11467b
Elsmere, Stephen P.
5580dfef-fff2-43bc-9578-a5c43a0072e9
Farrer, Ian
030154ac-5a34-490e-b99f-9f4b330b60e4
Ritchie, David A.
dafb13bd-0736-4dd3-972f-0c73570a4278
Tropper, Anne
f3505426-e0d5-4e91-aed3-aecdb44b393c
Quarterman, Adrian H.
fd24baf5-7019-4efc-84e7-049291efd58f
Wilcox, Keith G.
b7c8da76-3530-4cbf-aaec-ffa11c347230
Apostolopoulos, Vasilis
8a898740-4c71-4040-a577-9b9d70530b4d
Mihoubi, Zakaria
e705e824-c2ac-4d29-9f4a-36d7ba11467b
Elsmere, Stephen P.
5580dfef-fff2-43bc-9578-a5c43a0072e9
Farrer, Ian
030154ac-5a34-490e-b99f-9f4b330b60e4
Ritchie, David A.
dafb13bd-0736-4dd3-972f-0c73570a4278
Tropper, Anne
f3505426-e0d5-4e91-aed3-aecdb44b393c

Quarterman, Adrian H., Wilcox, Keith G., Apostolopoulos, Vasilis, Mihoubi, Zakaria, Elsmere, Stephen P., Farrer, Ian, Ritchie, David A. and Tropper, Anne (2009) A passively mode-locked external-cavity semiconductor laser emitting 60-fs pulses. Nature Photonics, 3 (10), 729-731. (doi:10.1038/NPHOTON.2009.216).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Optical pulses of duration a few tens of femtoseconds drive applications from attoscience to metrology, yet femtosecond lasers remain bulky and expensive items based on vibronic crystal or ytterbium-doped silica fibre gain media. Although in principle band-gap-engineered quantum-confined semiconductor materials have significant advantages of gain bandwidth, and spectral versatility, semiconductor lasers have not to date been capable of generating comparably short pulses. Here we describe an optically-pumped InGaAs/GaAs quantum well (QW) laser that is passively mode-locked using an intracavity semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) and emits 60-fs pulses at 1037 nm with optical spectrum bandwidth of 20 nm full-width half-maximum (FWHM). In this laser, fast optical Stark self-absorption modulation and strong gain saturation combine to shape pulses on the timescale of carrier-carrier scattering. The cavity contains a stable group of circulating pulses, regularly spaced at an interval fixed by the time over which the saturated gain recovers.

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Published date: December 2009
Keywords: ultrafast semiconductor laser
Organisations: Physics & Astronomy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 79505
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/79505
ISSN: 1749-4885
PURE UUID: 0ed33e54-bfd7-48a2-9ddb-0dc6d93436d0
ORCID for Vasilis Apostolopoulos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3733-2191

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Mar 2010
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:43

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Contributors

Author: Adrian H. Quarterman
Author: Keith G. Wilcox
Author: Zakaria Mihoubi
Author: Stephen P. Elsmere
Author: Ian Farrer
Author: David A. Ritchie
Author: Anne Tropper

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