Photonics2016, 3(3), 44; doi:10.3390/photonics3030044 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An automated design approach using an evolutionary algorithm for the development of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) is presented. Our algorithmic approach merges computational intelligence techniques with the physics of device structures, representing a design methodology that reduces experimental effort and costs. The algorithm was developed to produce QCLs with a three-well, diagonal-transition active region and a five-well injector region. Specifically, we applied this technique to AlGaAs/InGaAs strained active region designs. The algorithmic approach is a non-dominated sorting method using four aggregate objectives: target wavelength, population inversion via longitudinal-optical (LO) phonon extraction, injector level coupling, and an optical gain metric. Analysis indicates that the most plausible device candidates are a result of the optical gain metric and a total aggregate of all objectives. However, design limitations exist in many of the resulting candidates, indicating need for additional objective criteria and parameter limits to improve the application of this and other evolutionary algorithm methods.
Abstract: Transformation optics enables engineering of the effective topology and dimensionality of the optical space in metamaterials. Nonlinear optics of such metamaterials may mimic Kaluza-Klein theories having one or more kinds of effective charges. As a result, novel photon blockade devices may be realized. Here we demonstrate that an electromagnetic wormhole may be designed, which connects two points of such an optical space and changes its effective topological connectivity. Electromagnetic field configurations, which exhibit fractional effective charges, appear as a result of such topology change. Moreover, such effects as Misner-Wheeler “charge without charge” may be replicated.
Abstract: We present the current status of high-performance, compact, THz sources based on intracavity nonlinear frequency generation in mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers. Significant performance improvements of our THz sources in the power and wall plug efficiency are achieved by systematic optimizing the device’s active region, waveguide, and chip bonding strategy. High THz power up to 1.9 mW and 0.014 mW for pulsed mode and continuous wave operations at room temperature are demonstrated, respectively. Even higher power and efficiency are envisioned based on enhancements in outcoupling efficiency and mid-IR performance. Our compact THz device with high power and wide tuning range is highly suitable for imaging, sensing, spectroscopy, medical diagnosis, and many other applications.
Abstract: In an effort to overcome current limitations to electrical tuning of quantum cascade lasers, a strategy is proposed which combines heterogeneous quantum cascade laser gain engineering with sampled grating architectures. This approach seeks to not only widen the accessible spectral range for an individual emitter, but also compensate for functional non-uniformity of reflectivity and gain lineshapes. A trial laser with a dual wavelength core is presented which exhibits electroluminescence over a 750 cm−1 range and discrete single mode laser emission over a 700 cm−1 range. Electrical tuning over 180 cm−1 is demonstrated with a simple sampled grating design. A path forward to even wider tuning is also described using more sophisticated gain and grating design principles.
Abstract: Heterogeneous integration between silicon (Si), III-V group material and Germanium (Ge) is highly desirable to achieve monolithic photonic circuits. Transfer-printing and stacking between different semiconductor nanomembranes (NMs) enables more versatile combinations to realize high-performance light-emitting and photodetecting devices. In this paper, lasers, including vertical and edge-emitting structures, flexible light-emitting diode, photodetectors at visible and infrared wavelengths, as well as flexible photodetectors, are reviewed to demonstrate that the transfer-printed semiconductor nanomembrane stacked layers have a large variety of applications in integrated optoelectronic systems.
Abstract: We discuss the implications of using monolithically integrated semiconductor lasers in high capacity optical coherent links suitable for metro applications, where the integration capabilities of semiconductor lasers make them an attractive candidate to reduce transceiver cost. By investigating semiconductor laser frequency noise profiles we show that carrier induced frequency noise plays an important role in system performance. We point out that, when such lasers are employed, the commonly used laser linewidth fails to estimate system performance, and we propose an alternative figure of merit that we name “Effective Linewidth”. We derive this figure of merit analytically, explore it by numerical simulations and experimentally validate our results by transmitting a 28 Gbaud DP-16QAM over an optical link. Our investigations cover the use of semiconductor lasers both in the transmitter side and as a local oscillator at the receiver. The obtained results show that our proposed “effective linewidth” is easy to measure and accounts for frequency noise more accurately, and hence the penalties associated to phase noise in the received signal.