A III-V-on-Si ultra-dense comb laser


Wang, Z., van Gasse, K., Moskalenko, V., Latkowski, S., Bente, E.A.J.M., Kuyken, B. & Roelkens, G. (2017). A III-V-on-Si ultra-dense comb laser. Light-Sciences and Applications, 6(5):e16260

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Optical frequency combs emerge as a promising technology that enables highly sensitive, near-real-time spectroscopy with a high resolution. The currently available comb generators are mostly based on bulky and high-cost femtosecond lasers for dense comb generation (line spacing in the range of 100 MHz to 1 GHz). However, their integrated and low-cost counterparts, which are integrated semiconductor mode-locked lasers, are limited by their large comb spacing, small number of lines and broad optical linewidth. In this study, we report a demonstration of a III-V-on-Si comb laser that can function as a compact, low-cost frequency comb generator after frequency stabilization. The use of low-loss passive silicon waveguides enables the integration of a long laser cavity, which enables the laser to be locked in the passive mode at a record-low 1 GHz repetition rate. The 12-nm 10-dB output optical spectrum and the notably small optical mode spacing results in a dense optical comb that consists of over 1400 equally spaced optical lines. The sub-kHz 10-dB radio frequency linewidth and the narrow longitudinal mode linewidth (<400 kHz) indicate notably stable mode-locking. Such integrated dense comb lasers are very promising, for example, for high-resolution and real-time spectroscopy applications.