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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

Front Optoelec    2014, Vol. 7 Issue (1) : 1-19     DOI: 10.1007/s12200-014-0387-5
REVIEW ARTICLE |
Recent advances in development of vertical-cavity based short pulse source at 1.55 μm
Zhuang ZHAO(), Sophie BOUCHOULE, Jean-Christophe HARMAND, Gilles PATRIARCHE, Guy AUBIN, Jean-Louis OUDAR
Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures (LPN), CNRS, Marcoussis, France
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Abstract

This paper reviews and discusses recent developments in passively mode-locked vertical external cavity surface emitting lasers (ML-VECSELs) for short pulse generation at 1.55 μm. After comparing ML-VECSELs to other options for short pulse generation, we reviewed the results of ML-VECSELs operating at telecommunication wavelength and point out the challenges in achieving sub-picosecond operation from a ML-VECSEL at 1.55 μm. We described our recent work in the VECSELs and semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAMs), their structure design, optimization and characterization, with the goal of moving the pulse width from picosecond to sub-picosecond.

Keywords semiconductor laser      vertical external cavity surface emitting laser (VECSEL)      indium phosphide      heat dissipation      saturable absorber mirror      mode-locking     
Corresponding Authors: ZHAO Zhuang,Email:zhuang.zhao@lpn.cnrs.fr   
Issue Date: 05 March 2014
 Cite this article:   
Zhuang ZHAO,Sophie BOUCHOULE,Jean-Christophe HARMAND, et al. Recent advances in development of vertical-cavity based short pulse source at 1.55 μm[J]. Front Optoelec, 2014, 7(1): 1-19.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/foe/EN/10.1007/s12200-014-0387-5
http://journal.hep.com.cn/foe/EN/Y2014/V7/I1/1
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Zhuang ZHAO
Sophie BOUCHOULE
Jean-Christophe HARMAND
Gilles PATRIARCHE
Guy AUBIN
Jean-Louis OUDAR
Fig.1  Summary of mode-locked pulse characteristics obtained from mode-locked VECSELs in near infrared range
Fig.2  Typical structure of an optically pumped VECSEL []
λ0 /nmactive region (quantum wells)Bottom mirrorPout/Wheat spreader (HS) ordownward heat dissipation (DHD)operating temperature /Kreference (date)
155020 InGaAsP48-pairInP/InGaAsP0.07DHD233[34](2004)
0.8HS240[35](2004)
157010 InGaAlAs35-pairGaAs/AlGaAs2.6HS283[36](2008)
15508 InGaAlAshybrid 17-pair GaAs/AlGaAs-gold mirror0.07DHD298[37](2008)
Tab.1  Summary of main results obtained with 1.55 μm OP-VECSELs
Fig.3  Schematics of thermal management techniques. (a) Intra-cavity heat spreader approach (after Ref. []); (b) downward heat dissipation approach (after Ref. [])
layersaverage thermal conductivity/(W?(K?m)-1)absorption coefficient at the pump wavelength /cm-1layer thickness /μm
heatspreader20000300
InP phase layer6801.1
quartenary active region4.51.5 × 1040.7
48-pair InP/InGaAsP DBRκr = 38.5, κz = 12.7011.3
35-pair GaAs/AlGaAs DBRκr = 74.4, κz = 69.9209.3
17- pair GaAs/AlGaAs DBRκr = 74.4, κz = 69.9204
InP substrate680300
GaAs substrate550 (*)300
CVD diamond20000300
copper4000 (*)varied
Au3001.3 × 106150
AuIn21620 (*)0.4
In810 (*)50
Cu heatsink4000 (*)1000
Tab.2  Thermal conductivity values and layer thickness used in the thermal simulations. (*): As the pump power has been completely absorbed after the Au layer in the mirror, the absorption coefficient was set to zero in the simulation
Fig.4  Temperature rise in active layer calculated versus pump spot radius for 300 μm diamond heat spreader and with different DBRs and substrates: 35-pair GaAs/AlGaAs DBR mirror on GaAs substrate (red dash), and 48 pairs InP/InGaAsP DBR mirror on InP substrate (blue dot). The limit case of the active region directly bonded onto the same heat spreader is a reference (magenta line) []
Fig.5  Temperature rise in active region calculated versus pump spot radius for a hybrid GaAs/AlGaAs-gold mirror with different host substrates: 300 μm thick CVD diamond (red dash dot), 150 μm thick copper (blue dash), and 150 μm thick gold (magenta dot). The limit case of the active region directly bonded onto 300 μm diamond host substrate with no bottom mirror nor substrate is also reported as a reference (black line) []
Fig.6  Fabrication process of VECSEL chips
Fig.7  BF-STEM image of interface between InP-based active structure and metamorphic GaAs/AlGaAs DBR regrown by MBE []
Fig.8  VECSEL plane-concave cavity setup. The VECSEL chip is attached to a copper mount with heat conductive paste. The temperature of the copper plate is measured with a 10 kΩ thermistor. The copper plate temperature is regulated with a Peltier element, which is fixed to a heatsink. The heat is dissipated from the heatsink with a fan or with water cooling system
Fig.9  CW emitted power of VECSELs with CVD-diamond host substrate versus incident pump power at different temperatures in the plane concave cavity configuration
Fig.10  General concept of SESAM without any restrictions on the mirror design []
Fig.11  Carrier dynamics in SESAMs: Electrons are excited to the conduction band and thermalize on a time scale of 100 fs. The electrons then recombine or get trapped by defects on a time scale of 0.1-100 ps []
Fig.12  Schematic diagram with recombination scheme using N-rich GaNAs layers as recombination center []
Fig.13  Nonlinear reflectivities of a SESAM as function of time delay between pump and probe pulse (The pulse duration of pump and probe signal is ~ 1.5 ps)
Fig.14  Illustration of design of a SESAM. (a) Schematic overview of the whole structure of SESAM, a quantum well surrounded by two GaNAs planes of absorption region and top phase layers of GaAs and AlGaAs were grown alternatively; (b) calculated GDD of the SESAM as function of the number of phase layers on top of absorbing region
resonanttype Atype Banti-resonant
layernominal thickness/nmSiO2×277××
GaAs9.19.1××
Al0.7Ga0.3As140.0140.0140.0×
Fsat/(μJ?cm-2)7.213.710.1(63)
?R/%3.41.62.4(0.42)
Tab.3  Nominal thickness of top layers and measured nonlinear parameters of SESAM in the four configurations. Values in brackets are estimated from a transfer matrix calculation (from Ref. [])
Fig.15  Measured nonlinear reflectivity of SESAMs type A (red squares) and type B (blue squares). The red and blue lines are the corresponding fitting curves
Fig.16  (a) Experimental reflectivity of type A SESAM (blue curve) and type B SESAM (red dash); (b) corresponding calculated GDD value of the two SESAMs (from Ref. [])
Fig.17  Four-mirror cavity configuration of mode-locked VECSEL
Fig.18  (a) Autocorrelation trace of the mode-locked pulse obtained for type-A SESAM. Blue curve: experimental data. Red dash: fit assuming a sech pulse; (b) corresponding average optical spectrum (from Ref. [])
Fig.19  (a) Autocorrelation trace of the mode-locked pulse obtained for type-B SESAM. Blue curve: experimental data. Red dash: fit assuming a sech pulse; (b) corresponding average optical spectrum (from Ref. [])
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