The coherence collapse regime of high-coherence Si/III-V lasers and the use of swept frequency semiconductor lasers for full field 3D imaging

Thursday October 5, 2017 10:30 AM

EE Ph.D. Thesis Seminar

Speaker: Mark Harfouche, Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Location: Watson 104

October 5th at Talk at 10:30am, Coffee and snacks at 10:00 in Watson 104.

The semiconductor laser is the linchpin of optical communication and is now also penetrating a wide spectrum of new applications such as biomedical sensing, coherent communication, metrology, and time keeping. These require a higher degree of temporal coherence than is available from the present generation. Recently, it has been proposed and shown that heterogeneously integrated lasers on silicon and InGaAsP can be used to design high coherence single mode lasers with a much narrower linewidth than their all InGaAsP counterparts. Unfortunately, these lasers suffer from large thermal impedances and their optical feedback characteristics have not yet been explored. In the first part of this thesis, we will explore how flip chip bonding can help decrease the thermal impedance of these lasers to improve their
overall performance and show that these lasers can provide up to 20 dB of optical isolation compared to their all III-V counterparts.

In the second part of this thesis, we will report on the use of commercially available semiconductor lasers, in conjunction with an optical modulator to obtain high resolution tomographic images in one shot without any moving parts. The electronic control over the imaged depth of this novel tomographic imaging camera enables it to monitor arbitrary depth slices in rapid succession over a depth range limited only by the coherence length of the laser. Not only does this imaging modality acquire the transverse image intensity (x; y) distribution of the light reflected from a particular depth, but also the phase of the reflected light enabling imaging beyond the conventional depth of field of the lens. This has important implications in applications requiring high lateral resolution images where the shallow depth of field would often require mechanical scanning of the lens elements to change the imaged depth.