Ultra-narrow-linewidth Al_2O_3:Er^3+ lasers with a wavelength-insensitive waveguide design on a wafer-scale silicon nitride platform
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We report ultra-narrow-linewidth erbium-doped aluminum oxide (Al2O3:Er3+) distributed feedback (DFB) lasers with a wavelength-insensitive silicon-compatible waveguide design. The waveguide consists of five silicon nitride (SiNx) segments buried under silicon dioxide (SiO2) with a layer Al2O3:Er3+ deposited on top. This design has a high confinement factor (> 85%) and a near perfect (> 98%) intensity overlap for an octave-spanning range across near infra-red wavelengths (950-2000 nm). We compare the performance of DFB lasers in discrete quarter phase shifted (QPS) cavity and distributed phase shifted (DPS) cavity. Using QPS-DFB configuration, we obtain maximum output powers of 0.41 mW, 0.76 mW, and 0.47 mW at widely spaced wavelengths within both the C and L bands of the erbium gain spectrum (1536 nm, 1566 nm, and 1596 nm). In a DPS cavity, we achieve an order of magnitude improvement in maximum output power (5.43 mW) and a side mode suppression ratio (SMSR) of > 59.4 dB at an emission wavelength of 1565 nm. We observe an ultra-narrow linewidth of ΔνDPS = 5.3 ± 0.3 kHz for the DPS-DFB laser, as compared to ΔνQPS = 30.4 ± 1.1 kHz for the QPS-DFB laser, measured by a recirculating self-heterodyne delayed interferometer (R-SHDI).
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