Micro/Millimeter-wave Photonics Using Injection-Locked Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers

Period of Performance: 05/05/1998 - 05/05/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

9775 Towne Centre Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The microwave/millimeter-wave modulation characteristics of semiconductor lasers are a critical performance specification for a variety of Systems ranging from optical communications to optical control of complex. high-frequency electronic systems. This program will investigate and demonstrate an efficient method for modification and control of these Characteristics through the use of external optical injection. Optical injection into a semiconductor laser modifies the resonant coupling between the circulating optical field and the free carriers (gain medium). The modification can be exploited to enhance the modulation bandwidth and reduce the broadband noise characteristics, generate a modulated laser output with the modulation frequency tunable in the microwave and millimeter-wave regimes, or generate an output displaying chaotic dynamics which can mask an underlying. Recoverable, information signals. High-speed, conventional edge-emitting lasers and vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELS) will be used to demonstrate these enhanced characteristics. Experimental demonstrations with arrays of VCSELs will further be used to show that optical injection and control can be used to implement true-time-delay signals for control of phased array radar, and coherent beam control for beam steering and the generation and control of complex optical patterns from the array. Control and enhancement of the modulation characteristics of semiconductor lasers expands their potential in diverse applications such as optical control of microwave/millimeter-wave Systems for use in on-the-move communications and directional radar, and optical information transmission in high-speed analog and digital data links.