Model for a pulsed terahertz quantum cascade laser under optical feedback

Gary Agnew, Andrew Grier, Thomas Taimre, Yah Leng Lim, Karl Bertling, Zoran Ikonić, Alexander Valavanis, Paul Dean, Jonathan Cooper, Suraj P. Khanna, Mohammad Lachab, Edmund H. Linfield, A. Giles Davies, Paul Harrison, Dragan Indjin, Aleksandar D. Rakić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Optical feedback effects in lasers may be useful or problematic, depending on the type of application. When semiconductor lasers are operated using pulsed-mode excitation, their behavior under optical feedback depends on the electronic and thermal characteristics of the laser, as well as the nature of the external cavity. Predicting the behavior of a laser under both optical feedback and pulsed operation therefore requires a detailed model that includes laser-specific thermal and electronic characteristics. In this paper we introduce such a model for an exemplar bound-to-continuum terahertz frequency quantum cascade laser (QCL), illustrating its use in a selection of pulsed operation scenarios. Our results demonstrate significant interplay between electro-optical, thermal, and feedback phenomena, and that this interplay is key to understanding QCL behavior in pulsed applications. Further, our results suggest that for many types of QCL in interferometric applications, thermal modulation via low duty cycle pulsed operation would be an alternative to commonly used adiabatic modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20554-20570
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Issue number18
Early online date29 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


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