World’s Most Narrowband Diode Laser on a Chip

Schematic drawing of a minuscule laser on a chip with a maximum bandwidth of just 290 Hertz. (Source: U. Twente)

This laser represents a break­through in the fast-growing field of photonics, and will bring appli­cations like 5G internet and accurate GPS closer. The Uni­versity of Twente researchers have managed to develop a minus­cule laser on a chip with a maximum band­width of just 290 Hertz. By some distance, this is the most accurate laser on a chip that has ever been created. Research leader Klaus Boller said: “Our signal is more than ten times more coherent than any other laser on a chip.”

The newly-developed laser is tunable within a broad range. The device is a hybrid laser, which means that it essen­tially consists of two different photonic chips, opti­cally connected to each other. The record laser will bring countless appli­cations within reach, such as control­ling movable antennae on phone masts for 5G mobile internet, faster data flows through glass fiber networks, or more accurate GPS systems and sensors for moni­toring the structural integrity of buildings and bridges.

Twente is one of the world’s leading regions when it comes to pho­tonics, which is becoming an industry worth billions given that the technology is the key to large numbers of applications. The region is, for exampole, the birth­place of the TriPleX tech­nology – one of the most important standards for pho­tonic chips. At the heart of Twente’s strong position is the deep expertise and strong chemistry between all stake­holders. (Source: U. Twente)

Reference: Y. Fan et al.: 290 Hz Intrinsic Linewidth from an Integrated Optical Chip-based Widely Tunable InP-Si3N4 Hybrid Laser, OSA Technical Digest, CLEO, JTh5C.9, 2017; DOI: 10.1364/CLEO_AT.2017.JTh5C.9

Link: Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics, University of Twente, Netherlands

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