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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  1. D. Mittleman, Sensing with Terahertz Radiation (Springer, 2003), pp. 337.
  2. P. H. Siegel, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 52, 2438 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  3. R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. B. S. Williams, Nat. Photon. 1, 517 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  5. A. W. M. Lee, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Opt. Lett. 35, 910 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  7. L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Opt. Express 18, 19185 (2010).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
    [CrossRef]
  9. Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  10. E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
    [CrossRef]
  12. T. Baumberger, F. Heslot, and B. Perrin, Nature 367, 544(1994).
    [CrossRef]
  13. Q. Qin and Q. Hu are preparing a manuscript to be called “Fabrication and assembling of MEMS plunger for III-V terahertz quantum cascade laser operated in 5 K temperature.”
  14. S. Kumar and Q. Hu, Phys. Rev. B 80, 245316 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  15. C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

2010 (2)

2009 (2)

S. Kumar and Q. Hu, Phys. Rev. B 80, 245316 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2007 (3)

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

B. S. Williams, Nat. Photon. 1, 517 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006 (1)

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2005 (1)

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2004 (1)

P. H. Siegel, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 52, 2438 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2002 (2)

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1994 (1)

T. Baumberger, F. Heslot, and B. Perrin, Nature 367, 544(1994).
[CrossRef]

Adam, A. J. L.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Allen, M. G.

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Baumberger, T.

T. Baumberger, F. Heslot, and B. Perrin, Nature 367, 544(1994).
[CrossRef]

Beere, H. E.

L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Opt. Express 18, 19185 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Beltram, F.

L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Opt. Express 18, 19185 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Capasso, F.

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cho, A. Y.

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Colombelli, R.

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Davies, A. G.

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Dunbar, L. A.

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Faist, J.

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Fenner, D. B.

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Gao, J. R.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Giovannini, M.

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Gmachl, C.

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Green, R. P.

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Hensley, J. M.

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Heslot, F.

T. Baumberger, F. Heslot, and B. Perrin, Nature 367, 544(1994).
[CrossRef]

Houdré, R.

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Hovenier, J. N.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hu, Q.

A. W. M. Lee, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Opt. Lett. 35, 910 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

S. Kumar and Q. Hu, Phys. Rev. B 80, 245316 (2009).
[CrossRef]

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Q. Qin and Q. Hu are preparing a manuscript to be called “Fabrication and assembling of MEMS plunger for III-V terahertz quantum cascade laser operated in 5 K temperature.”

Iotti, R. C.

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kasalynas, I.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Klaassen, T. O.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Klapwijk, T. M.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kohen, S.

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Kohler, R.

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kumar, S.

A. W. M. Lee, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Opt. Lett. 35, 910 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

S. Kumar and Q. Hu, Phys. Rev. B 80, 245316 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Lee, A. W. M.

Linfield, E. H.

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Mahler, L.

L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Opt. Express 18, 19185 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Mittleman, D.

D. Mittleman, Sensing with Terahertz Radiation (Springer, 2003), pp. 337.

Orlova, E. E.

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Perrin, B.

T. Baumberger, F. Heslot, and B. Perrin, Nature 367, 544(1994).
[CrossRef]

Qin, Q.

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Q. Qin and Q. Hu are preparing a manuscript to be called “Fabrication and assembling of MEMS plunger for III-V terahertz quantum cascade laser operated in 5 K temperature.”

Reno, J. L.

A. W. M. Lee, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Opt. Lett. 35, 910 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Ritchie, D. A.

L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Opt. Express 18, 19185 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rossi, F.

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Scalari, G.

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Siegel, P. H.

P. H. Siegel, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 52, 2438 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Sirigu, L.

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Sivco, D. L.

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Tredicucci, A.

L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Opt. Express 18, 19185 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Williams, B. S.

A. W. M. Lee, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, Opt. Lett. 35, 910 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

B. S. Williams, Nat. Photon. 1, 517 (2007).
[CrossRef]

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Xu, J.

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (2)

J. Xu, J. M. Hensley, D. B. Fenner, R. P. Green, L. Mahler, A. Tredicucci, M. G. Allen, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, and D. A. Ritchie, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 121104 (2007).
[CrossRef]

L. A. Dunbar, R. Houdré, G. Scalari, L. Sirigu, M. Giovannini, and J. Faist, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 141114 (2007).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. (1)

P. H. Siegel, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 52, 2438 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys. (1)

S. Kohen, B. S. Williams, and Q. Hu, J. Appl. Phys. 97, 053106 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Nat. Photon. (2)

B. S. Williams, Nat. Photon. 1, 517 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Q. Qin, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, J. L. Reno, and Q. Hu, Nat. Photon. 3, 732 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Nature (3)

R. Kohler, A. Tredicucci, F. Beltram, H. E. Beere, E. H. Linfield, A. G. Davies, D. A. Ritchie, R. C. Iotti, and F. Rossi, Nature 417, 156 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Baumberger, F. Heslot, and B. Perrin, Nature 367, 544(1994).
[CrossRef]

C. Gmachl, D. L. Sivco, R. Colombelli, F. Capasso, and A. Y. Cho, Nature 415, 883 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phys. Rev. B (1)

S. Kumar and Q. Hu, Phys. Rev. B 80, 245316 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

E. E. Orlova, J. N. Hovenier, T. O. Klaassen, I. Kasalynas, A. J. L. Adam, J. R. Gao, and T. M. Klapwijk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 173904 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Other (2)

D. Mittleman, Sensing with Terahertz Radiation (Springer, 2003), pp. 337.

Q. Qin and Q. Hu are preparing a manuscript to be called “Fabrication and assembling of MEMS plunger for III-V terahertz quantum cascade laser operated in 5 K temperature.”

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Band-edge-mode properties with the open front facet chosen to be at the widest location of the DFB ridge to select the upper-band-edge mode as the lasing mode. (a) Grating mode spectra of a typical DFB THz wire laser. Plotted is the radiation loss from the open facet. The dashed curve is a schematic gain spectrum with a Lorentzian linewidth of 0.5 THz . (b), (c) Intensity map (top view) of E y of the lower- and upper-band-edge modes. (d), (e) Intensity plot of E y of the lower- and upper-band-edge modes along the longitudinal direction of the device.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

(a) Schematic of the experimental setup, in which a differential micrometer is used to push the long end of a lever, whose short end in turn pushes a MEMS plunger. (b) SEM picture of a MEMS plunger device layer (top view) before the release of the embedded SiO 2 layer. (c) Schematic of the two-stage flexure design of a MEMS plunger. (d) Illustration of the alignment scheme between a MEMS plunger and a wire-laser die.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Tuning results from device A. (a) Threshold current densities of the device at different frequencies. (b) Atmospheric attenuation at different frequencies (HITRAN 2008). The three arrows indicate strong absorption lines. (c) Tuning over a range of 330 GHz in device A. The gaps in the tuning spectra are due to the absorption lines indicated in (b).

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