Fast Wavelength-Switching of Laser Transmitters and Amplifiers

Haim Kobrinski, Mario P. Vecchi, Matthew S. Goodman, Evan L. Goldstein, Thomas E. Chapuran, Janet M. Cooper, Moshe Tur, Chung En Zah, Serafin G. Menocal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses system aspects and describes experimental demonstrations of nanosecond wavelength tuning in laser diode structures. Both tunable transmitters and tunable filters are considered. The dependence of the refractive index on the carrier density in semiconductors is exploited to obtain fast wavelength tuning. Experimentally, switching times of < 15 ns have been demonstrated in a three-section DBR laser transmitter with maximum continuous tuning range of 2.2 nm. These conditions correspond to a system with 50 wavelength-addressable channels. A new scheme for simultaneous wavelength-switching and data modulation, which alleviates wavelength drifts due to thermal effects, is presented. DFB laser structures biased below the lasing threshold operate as resonant tunable amplifiers. A uniform DFB laser amplifier has been demonstrated with a 1 ns wavelength-switching time. Experiments with tunable transmitters and tunable filters that simulate their operation in packet switching systems, including both wavelength-switching and data modulation, are also described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1202
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


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