Frequency modulation characteristics for interband cascade lasers emitting at 3 μm
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The frequency modulation (FM) efficiency and frequency modulation/intensity modulation (FM/IM) phase shift of mid-infrared interband cascade lasers (ICLs) are studied experimentally. The modulation parameters of 2997 and 3266 nm ICLs are characterized using tunable laser absorption spectroscopy (TLAS) with H2O absorption lines located at 2998.8 and 3263.3 nm, respectively. The FM efficiency is determined by the distance between two zero crossings of the measured wavelength modulation spectrum with the second-harmonic (WMS-2f) detection signal, whereas the FM/IM phase shift is extracted by measuring the time delay between the laser intensity and frequency response, using the H2O absorption lines as markers. The results show that the FM efficiency is more than four times larger than that of conventional near-infrared distributed feedback lasers and that it decreases monotonically with increasing modulation frequency. The response of the FM/IM phase shift shows three distinct regions in its response to the increasing modulation frequency. The FM characteristics of ICLs are different from those of both conventional diode lasers and quantum cascade lasers because of the different semiconducting materials and working principles involved. This study can help to optimize wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS)-based sensor performance and improve simulation models for WMS.
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