Pulsewidth and noise properties of external-cavity mode-locked semiconductor lasers:

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1 Pulsewidth and noise properties of external-cavity mode-locked semiconductor lasers: Simulations and experiments Josep Mulet IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain Center COM, Technical University of Denmark Marcel Kroh Heinrich-Hertz-Institute, Berlin, Germany Jesper Mørk Center COM, Technical University of Denmark

2 Paper EA2-2-THU CLEO/EQEC Munich June 2005 Based on the conference presentations: J. Mulet, M. Kroh, J. Mørk, Pulsewidth and stability properties of external-cavity mode-locked semiconductor lasers: simulations and experiments, Paper EA2-1-THU, CLEO/EQEC, Munich, June (2005) J. Mulet, J. Mørk, M. Kroh, Identification of amplitude and timing jitter in external-cavity mode-locked semiconductor lasers, Paper CTuY7, CLEO/IQEC, San Francisco, May (2004), ISBN: J. Mulet and J. Mørk, Numerical investigations on the performance of external-cavity semiconductor lasers, Proc. SPIE vol. 5452, Photonics Europe, Strasbourg (2004)

3 Introduction External-Cavity Mode-Locked semiconductor Laser ECMLL as a flexible source of optical pulses - Picosecond pulses - Moderate noise levels - Tunable both in wavelength and repetition rate Pulsewidth and timing jitter - Special requirements for mode-locked lasers as sources in high bit-rate OTDM communication systems - Short pulses ~ Large timing jitter Detailed modeling of the ECMLL - Direct comparison between simulations and experiments - Optimization and effect of the driving conditions - Numerical analysis of pulsewidth and fluctuations

4 Laser setup Tunable external-cavity mode-locked semiconductor laser MQW buried heterostructure fabricated at HHI GRIN AR AS Fibertaper GRIN FIBER AR: Antireflection coating AS: Absorber section I gain Bias T V abs RF Fundamental ML frequency 10 GHz Output at the absorber facet Specifications central λ 1.55 µm Grating 300 lines/mm Gain 560 µm Absorber 50 µm AR coating ~ 10-4

5 Fully-distributed time-domain model Optical Propagation Numerical integration of the travelling wave equations in the multisection laser diode Travelling wave equations r 3 (ω) E e + (0,t) R(t) r 2 r 2 I gain E + E - z r 1 V abs grid GV GVD gain refractive internal index losses Spontaneous emission Boundary conditions External cavity with a diffraction grating - Multiple internal and external-cavity reflections due to imperfect AR coating are naturally included - Sinc or Gaussian filter lineshapes are implemented ; classical Langevin noise sources

6 Fully-distributed time-domain model SOA and Absorber models Incorporate the nonlinear and ultrafast dynamics of the gain Rate equation model : ~ 100 fs Spectral hole burning ~ 1 ps Carrier heating ~ 1 ns Spontaneous recombination (*) and carrier injection - J. Mørk et al., Proc. SPIE 2146, 52 (1994) - A. Mecozzi and J. Mørk, IEEE JSTQE 3, 1190 (1997) For the absorber g = a - Spectral hole-burning and carrier heating introduce gain suppression - Pulsewidth dependent saturation energies N ( n + n N0) c v - Bandgap renormalization with V abs - (*) Absorber recovery time with reverse bias ;

7 Regimes of operation passive operation Simulated structure grating bandwidth 8 nm gain length 560 µm absorber length 50 µm AR coating 10-4 wavelength 1.55 µm OFF: no laser emission ML : stable mode locking IML : incomplete mode locking experiments mode locking threshold simulations Timing jitter Slight change in driving conditions V abs -I gain close to the unstable region leads to large amplitude noise amplitude jittter ML - Stable mode locking IML - Incomplete mode locking

8 Trailing pulse suppression Dependence of the trailing pulse suppression with driving conditions Second harmonic signal Autocorrelation function experiment simulations simulations - Reflections at the imperfect AR coating - Good trailing pulse suppression ~20-30 db Limitations: AR coating R~ 10-4 Absorber recovery time ~ ps ~40 db reached for R<10-5 requires special techniques

9 L-I Curves Output at the absorber facet Threshold current increases with reverse bias due to higher unsaturated loss For large reverse bias, V abs ~-2 V we find hystheresis experiments simulations

10 Pulsewidth I Evolution of pulsewidth close to modelocking threshold, passive operation simulations experiments - Pulsewidth shortens when increasing reverse bias due to Faster recovery of the absorber Enhanced contrast in saturation energies between SOA and ABS Partial compensation of self-phase modulation in SOA and ABS -Optimum situation Close to ML threshold and large reverse bias

11 Pulsewidth II For optimum driving conditions, dependence of the pulsewidth on the grating bandwidth Natural temporal width compressed Shortening only effective for narrow filters Ultrafast effects (UFE) inhibit the formation of sub-ps pulses 900 fs 600 fs Linear chirp removed for wider filters 670 fs 500 fs Optical spectrum of the pulse train Spectral width < Grating bandwith Redshift due to self-phase modulation

12 Numerical analysis of fluctuations Short- and long- term timing jitter is computed using a pulse detection technique Separate determination of timing jitter and amplitude jitter Timing fluctuations t n amplitude noise

13 Integrated and rms timing jitter integrated timing jitter rms-timing jitter simulations I II f high =Nyquist experiment I II III, f low =300 khz Three regions I Important timing noise II Plateau III Rise of amplitude jitter V abs =-1.1V, I=60 ma, V abs =0.25V rms timing jitter vs. reverse bias Effect of the driving conditions - rms timing jitter reduces with reverse bias and RF modulation

14 Phase noise spectra Phase noise spectrum upon increasing the grating bandwidth simulations Phase noise spectrum Integrated timing jitter in the spanned frequency interval Nyquist Phase noise and integrated timing jitter increase with the filter bandwidth Optimum bandwidth λ G ~8 nm

15 Emission frequency fluctuations Numerical characterization of Haus fluctuations w k, p k, t k Gordon-Haus noise important for wide filters yielding large timing jitter Jitter reduction by bandwidth narrowing Single-pulse optical spectra Timing fluctuations wide filter narrow filter

16 Summary A detailed fully-distributed time-domain model for ECMLL Good agreement with experimental dependencies Picosecond pulses with ~30 db trailing pulse suppression For an optimum grating bandwidth ~10 nm, large reverse bias and close to the mode locking threshold Sub-picosecond pulse generation with wide filters require - Moderate ultrafast nonlinearities - Chirp compensation - Special care with phase noise

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