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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 732;

Widely-Tunable Ring-Resonator Semiconductor Lasers

Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
Institute of Lightwave Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
Department of Electrical Engineering, National Central University, Taoyuan 451700, Taiwan
Hewlett Packard Labs, 1501 Page Mill Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
Juniper Networks, Inc., 1133 Innovation Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ralf Hellmann
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Optics and Lasers)
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Chip-scale widely-tunable lasers are important for both communication and sensing applications. They have a number of advantages, such as size, weight, and cost compared to mechanically tuned counterparts. Furthermore, they allow for integration in more complex integrated photonic chips to realize added functionality. Here we give an extensive overview of such lasers realized by utilizing ring resonators inside the laser cavity. Use of ring resonators for tuning allows for wide-tunability by exploiting the Vernier effect, and at the same time improves the laser linewidth, as effective cavity length is increased at ring resonance. In this review, we briefly introduce basic concepts of laser tuning using ring resonators. Then, we study a number of laser cavity configurations that utilize two ring resonators, and compare their tuning performance. We introduce a third ring resonator to the laser cavity, study three different cavity configurations utilizing three ring resonators, and select the optimal one, for which we show that laser tuning is straightforward, provided there are monitor photodetectors on-chip. Finally, we give a literature overview showing superior linewidth performance of ring-based widely-tunable lasers. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiconductor lasers; cavity resonators; laser tuning; photonic integrated circuits; ring resonators semiconductor lasers; cavity resonators; laser tuning; photonic integrated circuits; ring resonators

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Komljenovic, T.; Liang, L.; Chao, R.-L.; Hulme, J.; Srinivasan, S.; Davenport, M.; E. Bowers, J. Widely-Tunable Ring-Resonator Semiconductor Lasers. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 732.

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