8 March 2016 Narrow linewidth broadband tunable semiconductor laser at 840 nm with dual acousto-optic tunable configuration for OCT applications
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We demonstrate a tunable narrow linewidth semiconductor laser for the 840 nm spectral range. The laser has a linear cavity comprised of polarization maintaining (PM) fiber. A broadband semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) in in-line fiber-coupled configuration acts as a gain element. It is based on InGaAs quantum-well (QW) active layer. SOA allows for tuning bandwidth exceeding 25 nm around 840 nm. Small-signal fiber-to-fiber gain of SOA is around 30 dB. A pair of acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTF) with a quasi-collinear interaction of optical and acoustic waves are utilized as spectrally selective elements. AOTF technology benefits in continuous tuning, broadband operation, excellent reproducibility and stability of the signal, as well as a high accuracy of wavelength selectivity due to the absence of mechanically moving components. A single AOTF configuration has typical linewidth in 0.05-0.15 nm range due to a frequency shift obtained during each roundtrip. A sequential AOTF arrangement enables instantaneous linewidth generation of <0.01 nm by compensating for this shift. Linewidth as narrow as 0.0036 nm is observed at 846 nm wavelength using a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer with 50 MHz spectral resolution. Output power is in the range of 1 mW. While the majority of commercial tunable sources operate in 1060-1550 nm spectral ranges, the 840 nm spectral range is beneficial for optical coherence tomography (OCT). The developed narrow linewidth laser can be relevant for OCT with extended imaging depth, as well as spectroscopy, non-destructive testing and other applications.
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Alexander Chamorovskiy, Alexander Chamorovskiy, Mikhail V. Shramenko, Mikhail V. Shramenko, Andrei A. Lobintsov, Andrei A. Lobintsov, Sergei D. Yakubovich, Sergei D. Yakubovich, } "Narrow linewidth broadband tunable semiconductor laser at 840 nm with dual acousto-optic tunable configuration for OCT applications", Proc. SPIE 9697, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XX, 96972T (8 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2210901; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2210901

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