Abstract

We employ simple analytical models to construct the entire frequency-modulation (FM)-noise spectrum of tunable semiconductor lasers. Many contributions to the laser FM noise can be clearly identified from the FM-noise spectrum, such as standard Weiner FM noise incorporating laser relaxation oscillation, excess FM noise due to thermal fluctuations, and carrier-induced refractive index fluctuations from stochastic carrier generation in the passive tuning sections. The contribution of the latter effect is identified by noting a correlation between part of the FM-noise spectrum with the FM-modulation response of the passive sections. We pay particular attention to the case of widely tunable lasers with three independent tuning sections, mainly the sampled-grating distributed Bragg reflector laser, and compare with that of a distributed feedback laser. The theoretical model is confirmed with experimental measurements, with the calculations of the important phase-error variance demonstrating excellent agreement.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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