21 April 2006 1.55-μm optically pumped tunable VCSEL based on a nano-polymer dispersive liquid crystal phase modulator
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We present a new approach to achieve tunability on a 1.55 μm vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL). Tunability is achieved thanks to an electro-optic index modulator. This electro-optic material consists in a n-PDLC phase layer introduced inside the VCSEL cavity. N-PDLC comprises nematic liquid crystal dispersed in a polymer material. This first VCSEL exhibits a 10 nm tuning range and an excellent side-mode suppression ratio higher than 20 dB over the whole spectral range. The device is formed by a conventional InP-based active region with an epitaxial and a dielectric Bragg mirror. The n-PDLC layer length, close to 6 μm, is in agreement with a tunable laser emission without mode-hopping. Another decisive advantage, compared to mechanical solutions, is the tuning response time which is close to a few 10 μs to scan the full spectral range, making this device appropriate for some access network functions. Voltage values are the main limiting factor, 170 Volts have been required to obtain 10 nm tunability, but material engineering is in progress to improve this point. We presented a first version of the device optically pumped, the next version will be electrically pumped as required for access network applications targeted here.
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C. Levallois, C. Levallois, V. Verbrugge, V. Verbrugge, L. Dupont, L. Dupont, J-L. de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, J-L. de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye, B. Caillaud, B. Caillaud, A. Le Corre, A. Le Corre, O. Dehaese, O. Dehaese, H. Folliot, H. Folliot, S. Loualiche, S. Loualiche, } "1.55-μm optically pumped tunable VCSEL based on a nano-polymer dispersive liquid crystal phase modulator", Proc. SPIE 6185, Micro-Optics, VCSELs, and Photonic Interconnects II: Fabrication, Packaging, and Integration, 61850W (21 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.662232; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.662232

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