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Photonics 2019, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics6010004

Identifying the Contribution of Carrier Shot Noise and Random Carrier Recombination to Excess Frequency Noise in Tunable Lasers

Radio and Optical Communications Research Laboratory, School of Electronic Engineering, Dublin City University, Glasnevin Dublin 9, Ireland
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Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lightwave Communications and Optical Networks)
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Abstract

Tunable lasers are necessary devices for modern-day telecommunications and sensing systems. Tunable lasers based on altering the refractive index of the tuning sections of distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR) by varying the injected electrical current show significantly more instantaneous random changes in the instantaneous lasing frequency (or excess FM-noise) compared to non-tunable distributed feedback lasers. We identifies shot noise and random carrier recombination as being the culprits of the excess FM-noise of DBR lasers, and demonstrated this by invoking detailed analytical and numerical analyses of the stochastic carrier fluctuations in the tuning sections, as well as a simplified quasi-static laser tuning model to convert the carrier fluctuations into random instantaneous fluctuations. We found that the spectral density of the FM-noise was mostly in the range 0.5 MHz–10 MHz, and this is in agreement with many independently published results. Our analytical treatment allowed us to conclude that it would be advantageous to reduce the refractive index dependence on the carriers in order to reduce the excess FM-noise while still maintaining the tuning functionality. The simplified numerical model allowed us to create a system simulator to help further develop signal processing techniques to counteract against these instantaneous laser frequency fluctuations. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiconductor lasers; phase noise; shot noise; simulations semiconductor lasers; phase noise; shot noise; simulations
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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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O’Duill, S.; Lin, Y.; Barry, L. Identifying the Contribution of Carrier Shot Noise and Random Carrier Recombination to Excess Frequency Noise in Tunable Lasers. Photonics 2019, 6, 4.

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