Abstract

We demonstrate continuous tuning of a terahertz quantum cascade wire laser over a broad range of 330GHz (8.6% of the 3.85THz center frequency) with single-mode operation. Tuning is achieved with a narrow laser ridge (λo/8) and a moveable MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) side object (plunger) to manipulate the transverse optical mode. The frictionless MEMS plunger enables continuous and reversible tuning. We demonstrate 30GHz redshift tuning using a silicon plunger and 300GHz blueshift tuning using a metal plunger. The blueshift tuning range is limited by the bandwidth of the gain medium rather than the tuning mechanism.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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