Numerical study of wavelength-swept semiconductor ring lasers: The role of refractiveindex nonlinearities in semiconductor optical amplifiers and implications for biomedical imaging applications

A. Bilenca, S. H. Yun, G. J. Tearney, B. E. Bouma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent results have demonstrated unprecedented wavelength-tuning speed and repetition rate performance of semiconductor ring lasers incorporating scanning filters. However, several unique operational characteristics of these lasers have not been adequately explained, and the lack of an accurate model has hindered optimization. We numerically investigated the characteristics of these sources, using a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) traveling-wave Langevin model, and found good agreement with experimental measurements. In particular, we explored the role of the SOA refractive-index nonlinearities in determining the intracavity frequency-shift–broadening and the emitted power dependence on scan speed and direction. Our model predicts both continuous-wave and pulse operation and shows a universal relationship between the output power of lasers that have different cavity lengths and the filter peak frequency shift per round trip, therefore revealing the advantage of short cavities for high-speed biomedical imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-762
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

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