Abstract

We demonstrate what we believe is the first nonmechanical tunable vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser operating in the C band. This was achieved as a result of the combination of an InGaAs quantum well structure with a 6λ thickness tunable index nano-polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal material. Experimental results exhibited a potential tunable range close to 10nm, in the preliminary version, and excellent single mode locking due to the side-mode suppression ratio (more than 20dB) over the whole spectral range. Another decisive advantage, compared to mechanical solutions, was the tuning response time of a few tens of microseconds (>30μs) to scan the full spectral range (10nm), making this device appropriate for some access network functions, as well as being robust and low cost. The voltage values are the main limitation to wavelength range extension. We present a first version of the device optically pumped. The next version will be electrically pumped as required for the access network applications targeted here.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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