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24 February 2020 Widely tunable electrically pumped 1050nm MEMS-VCSELs for optical coherence tomography
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In recent years, MEMS-tunable VCSELs have emerged as a leading swept source for optical coherence tomography imaging. At the ophthalmic imaging wavelength of 1050nm, optically pumped MEMS-VCSELs (MEMS-oVCSELs) have previously achieved >100nm tuning range and repetition rates approaching 1Mhz, enabling high-resolution and high-speed eye imaging. Electrically pumped MEMS-VCSEL technology (MEMS-eVCSEL) is a critical need for many emerging low-cost high-volume applications, but thus far tuning range has lagged substantially behind optically pumped devices. In this work, we demonstrate 97nm continuous tuning range in a MEMS-eVCSEL operating near 1050nm, and >100nm total tuning range, representing the widest tuning ranges achieved to date, and rivaling the performance of optically pumped devices. Our devices employ a strain-compensated InGaAs/GaAsP gain region disposed on a wideband fully oxidized GaAs/AlxOy back mirror. A deposited top mirror rests on a flexible dielectric membrane separated by a variable airgap from the underlying gain region. Application of voltage between the dielectric membrane and a bottom actuator contact on the top of the gain region creates an electro-static force which pulls the suspended mirror down, contracting the airgap and tuning the device to shorter wavelengths. In this 3-terminal device, the bottom actuator contact doubles as the laser anode. Current injection proceeds from the anode to the cathode at the back of the GaAs substrate through a lithographically defined low-loss current aperture, enabling reproducible aperture size and reproducible single-mode performance. These devices offer promise for many emerging high-volume imaging applications.
Conference Presentation
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V. Jayaraman, Christopher B. Burgner, John Carter, Iana Borova, Nate Bramham, Chad Lindblad, and Anthony Cazabat "Widely tunable electrically pumped 1050nm MEMS-VCSELs for optical coherence tomography", Proc. SPIE 11300, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XXIV, 113000S (24 February 2020);

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