Abstract

Shot-noise-limited laser operation over a wide spectral bandwidth is demonstrated by using a semiconductor active medium inserted into a high-Q external cavity. This approach ensures, with a compact design, a sufficiently long photon lifetime to reach the oscillation-relaxation-free class A regime. The laser relative intensity noise is limited to the shot-noise relative floor, 156dBHz for a 1mA detected photocurrent, over the 100MHzto18GHz bandwidth. The optimization of the laser cavity is discussed, and convenient shot-noise-limited operation is shown to be a trade-off between the cavity length and laser mode filtering.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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