Abstract: We present a comprehensive study on how to design and fabricate low loss electro-optic phase shifters based on an electro-optic polymer and the silicon nitride and silicon oxynitride waveguide material systems. The loss mechanisms of phase shifters with an electro-optic (EO) polymer cladding are analyzed in detail and design solutions to achieve lowest losses are presented. In order to verify the low loss design a proof of concept prototype phase shifter was fabricated, which exhibits an attenuation of 0.8 dB/cm at 1550 nm and an electro-optic efficiency factor of 27%. Furthermore, the potential of this class of phase shifters is evaluated in numerical simulations, from which the optimal design parameters and achievable figures of merit were derived. The presented phase shifter design has its potential for application in fast adaptive multi stage devices for optical signal processing.
Abstract: One of the main mechanisms of action for photodynamic therapy (PDT) is the destruction of tumor vasculature. We observed the PDT-induced vasculature destruction in a mouse model of skin cancer using two techniques: Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) and diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS). PAM showed high-resolution images of the abnormal microvasculature near the establishing tumor area at pre-PDT, as well as the subsequent destruction of those vessels post-PDT. DCS indicated a significant blood flow decrease after PDT, confirming the vascular destruction. Noninvasive assessment of vascular changes may be indicative of therapy response.
Abstract: We present a detailed experimental investigation of the use of a novel actuator for frequency tuning and modulation in a quantum cascade laser (QCL) based on a resistive integrated heater (IH) placed close to the active region. This new actuator is attractive for molecular spectroscopy applications as it enables fast tuning of the QCL wavelength with a minor influence on the optical output power, and is electrically-controlled. Using a spectroscopic setup comprising a low-pressure gas cell, we measured the tuning and modulation properties of a QCL emitting at 7.8 μm as a function of the active region and IH currents. We show that a current step applied to the IH enables the laser frequency to be switched by 500 MHz in a few milliseconds, as fast as for a step of the current in the active region, and limited by heat dissipation towards the laser sub-mount. The QCL optical frequency can be modulated up to ~100 kHz with the IH current, which is one order of magnitude slower than for the QCL current, but sufficient for many spectroscopic applications. We discuss the experimental results using a thermal model of the heat transfer in terms of cascaded low-pass filters and extract the respective cut-off frequencies. Finally, we present a proof-of-principle experiment of wavelength modulation spectroscopy of a N2O transition performed with a modulation of the IH current and show some potential benefits in comparison to QCL current modulation, which results from the reduced associated amplitude modulation.
Abstract: Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible Ar+-implanted Si-waveguide p-i-n photodetectors operating in the mid-infrared (2.2 to 2.3 µm wavelengths) are demonstrated at room temperature. Responsivities exceeding 21 mA/W are measured at a 5 V reverse bias with an estimated internal quantum efficiency of 3.1%–3.7%. The dark current is found to vary from a few nanoamps down to less than 11 pA after post-implantation annealing at 350 °C. Linearity is demonstrated over four orders of magnitude, confirming a single-photon absorption process. The devices demonstrate a higher thermal processing budget than similar Si+-implanted devices and achieve higher responsivity after annealing up to 350 °C.
Abstract: The considerably higher power and wider frequency coverage available from quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) in comparison to lead salt diode lasers has led to substantial advances when QCLs are used in pure and applied infrared spectroscopy. Furthermore, they can be used in both pulsed and continuous wave (cw) operation, opening up new possibilities in quantitative time resolved applications in plasmas both in the laboratory and in industry as shown in this article. However, in order to determine absolute concentrations accurately using pulsed QCLs, careful attention has to be paid to features like power saturation phenomena. Hence, we begin with a discussion of the non-linear effects which must be considered when using short or long pulse mode operation. More recently, cw QCLs have been introduced which have the advantage of higher power, better spectral resolution and lower fluctuations in light intensity compared to pulsed devices. They have proved particularly useful in sensing applications in plasmas when very low concentrations have to be monitored. Finally, the use of cw external cavity QCLs (EC-QCLs) for multi species detection is described, using a diagnostics study of a methane/nitrogen plasma as an example. The wide frequency coverage of this type of QCL laser, which is significantly broader than from a distributed feedback QCL (DFB-QCL), is a substantial advantage for multi species detection. Therefore, cw EC-QCLs are state of the art devices and have enormous potential for future plasma diagnostic studies.
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.