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Very High Frequency Modulation of Vertical Cavity Lasers With an Intracavity Absorber

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Final rept. 1 Jun 1999-31 Aug 2000

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Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers VCSELs have emerged as a key optical source in digital and RF photonics systems. Investigation to date has involved VCSELs of standard DBR construction. However, incorporation of a controllable saturable absorber inside the lasing cavity results in a wealth of new dynamic characteristics. The focus of this program is on designs and experiments of a novel three contact vertical cavity laser with an intracavity quantum-well. Contrary to all existing laser-absorber integration we achieved an independent control of the gain region and the quantum-well absorber. This allowed the device to be used as an integrated optical source and modulator, or alternatively, providing nonlinearity for self-pulsation and optical feedback. An unprecedentedly wide range of application is made possible with the unique properties and flexibilities. Under this program we graduated 3 PhD students, one post-doctoral researcher and one MS student. The grant also helped to start several new students. We published over 20 publications, filed one patent application and presented 12 invited talks at international conferences. This invention brought forth a completely new class of VCSELs. Many other research organizations have followed our lead and published their new designs and inputs. We believe the impact of this work is a far-reaching one.

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  • Lasers and Masers

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