Abstract

Ultrahigh-speed tuning of an extended-cavity semiconductor laser is demonstrated. The laser resonator comprises a unidirectional fiber-optic ring, a semiconductor optical amplifier as the gain medium, and a novel scanning filter based on a polygonal scanner. Variable tuning rates up to 1150 nm/ms (15.7-kHz repetition frequency) are demonstrated over a 70-nm wavelength span centered at 1.32 µm. This tuning rate is more than an order of magnitude faster than previously demonstrated and is facilitated in part by self-frequency shifting in the semiconductor optical amplifier. The instantaneous linewidth of the source is <0.1 nm for 9-mW cw output power and a low spontaneous-emission background of -80 dB.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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