Active mode locking of quantum cascade lasers in an external ring cavity
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Stable ultrashort light pulses and frequency combs generated by mode-locked lasers have many important applications including high-resolution spectroscopy, fast chemical detection and identification, studies of ultrafast processes, and laser metrology. While compact mode-locked lasers emitting in the visible and near infrared range have revolutionized photonic technologies, the systems operating in the mid-infrared range where most gases have their strong absorption lines, are bulky and expensive and rely on nonlinear frequency down-conversion. Quantum cascade lasers are the most powerful and versatile compact light sources in the mid-infrared range, yet achieving their mode-locked operation remains a challenge, despite dedicated effort. Here we report the demonstration of active mode locking of an external-cavity quantum cascade laser. The laser operates in the mode-locked regime at room temperature and over the full dynamic range of injection currents.
author list (cited authors)
Revin, D. G., Hemingway, M., Wang, Y., Cockburn, J. W., & Belyanin, A.