Interband cascade lasers (ICLs) and quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are two major mid-infrared semiconductor laser sources for applications in gas spectroscopy and in free space optical communication. In comparison with QCLs, GaSb-based ICLs exhibit superior performance in the spectral range 3-4 μm [1], while InAs-based ICLs extend the lasing wavelength beyond 6 μm [2]. In addition, the power consumption of ICLs is two orders of magnitude smaller than typical QCLs, which enables battery-driven systems [3]. Optical noise originating from spontaneous emission is a limiting factor of both lasers in terms of spectral resolution for gas sensing and of bit error rate for data transmission. This work experimentally investigates the relative intensity noise (RIN) characteristics of a continuous-wave (CW) ICL operated at room temperature.

© 2019 IEEE

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