LioniX International and Consortium Partners Develop Ultra-Narrow Linewidth Tunable Laser for Near Infrared

Posted  by GoPhotonics


LioniX International, a leading global provider of customized microsystem solutions specializing in integrated photonics and customized MEMS devices, in collaboration with their consortium partners at project REAP, has developed an on-chip, ultra-narrow linewidth tunable laser addressing the lower ranges of near infrared. The laser was presented in a paper at Photonics West 2023, featuring 22 kHz linewidth, 45 nm tuning range, 5 dBm output power, and -40 dB SMSR.

Hybrid integration for an external cavity Vernier laser

The laser is deceptively simple: a semiconductor optical amplifier attached to our TriPleX® chip, feeding directly into a fiber array. The power of the laser comes from the cleverly integrated circuit, which includes a Vernier filter implemented on their platform with two tunable microring resonators. A Mach-Zehnder interferometer is also included, to tune the output coupling efficiency.

To ensure thermal stability for long-term use, the laser includes a negative temperature coefficient thermistor, mounted on the photonic integrated circuit, and a thermo-electric cooler, placed in the 14-pin butterfly package. Thermal management, as well as the wavelength and output tuning, are electronically regulated with one of their in-house laser controllers, developed for use with their external cavity lasers.

Fast tuning in a wide range

At the central wavelength of 800 nm, the device measured a maximum output power of 5 dBm with a minimum side-mode suppression ratio of -40 dB. On testing its operation over a full day, the output exhibited minimal drift and a constant package temperature of 25°C. The measured intrinsic linewidth of the light was 22 kHz, with sub kHz tuning speeds.

The circuit was fabricated using our 850 nm MPW service, utilizing lateral waveguide tapers to optimally connect the chip to the gain section and the output fiber. These interfaces can have optical losses as low as 0.3 dB at the gain side and 0.4 dB at the fiber side. Their TriPleX® platform also supports vertical waveguide tapers, which were not used in this prototype.

Click here to read the research report titled, “800 nm narrow linewidth tunable hybrid laser based on a dual microring external cavity”.