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Optoelectronic control of the phase and frequency of semiconductor lasers

Citation

Satyan, Naresh (2011) Optoelectronic control of the phase and frequency of semiconductor lasers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:04292011-221312708

Abstract

This thesis explores the precise control of the phase and frequency of the output of semiconductor lasers (SCLs), which are the basic building blocks of most modern optical communication networks. Phase and frequency control is achieved by purely electronic means, using SCLs in optoelectronic feedback systems, such as optical phase-locked loops (OPLLs) and optoelectronic swept-frequency laser (SFL) sources. Architectures and applications of these systems are studied. OPLLs with single-section SCLs have limited bandwidths due to the nonuniform SCL frequency modulation (FM) response. To overcome this limitation, two novel OPLL architectures are designed and demonstrated, viz. (i) the sideband-locked OPLL, where the feedback into the SCL is shifted to a frequency range where the FM response is uniform, and (ii) composite OPLL systems, where an external optical phase modulator corrects excess phase noise. It is shown, theoretically and experimentally, and in the time and frequency domains, that the coherence of the master laser is “cloned” onto the slave SCL in an OPLL. An array of SCLs, phase-locked to a common master, therefore forms a coherent aperture, where the phase of each emitter is electronically controlled by the OPLL. Applications of phase-controlled apertures in coherent power-combining and all-electronic beam-steering are demonstrated. An optoelectronic SFL source that generates precisely linear, broadband, and rapid frequency chirps (several 100 GHz in 0.1 ms) is developed and demonstrated using a novel OPLL-like feedback system, where the frequency chirp characteristics are determined solely by a reference electronic oscillator. Results from high-sensitivity biomolecular sensing experiments utilizing the precise frequency control are reported. Techniques are developed to increase the tuning range of SFLs, which is the primary requirement in high-resolution three-dimensional imaging applications. These include (i) the synthesis of a larger effective bandwidth for imaging by "stitching" measurements taken using SFLs chirping over different regions of the optical spectrum; and (ii) the generation of a chirped wave with twice the chirp bandwidth and the same chirp characteristics by nonlinear four-wave mixing of the SFL output and a reference monochromatic wave. A quasi-phase-matching scheme to overcome dispersion in the nonlinear medium is described and implemented.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Optical phase-locked loops; Optoelectronics; Semiconductor lasers; Control systems; Swept-frequency lasers; Coherence; Optical phased arrays; Three-dimensional imaging
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Yariv, Amnon
Thesis Committee:
  • Yariv, Amnon (chair)
  • Crosignani, Bruno
  • Hajimiri, Ali
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
  • Yang, Changhuei
Defense Date:16 May 2011
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under various projects, and by the Caltech Lee Center for Advanced Networking.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Lee Center for Advanced NetworkingUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04292011-221312708
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:04292011-221312708
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6364
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Naresh Satyan
Deposited On:27 May 2011 22:06
Last Modified:10 Dec 2014 20:10

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