A new type of integrated semiconductor laser that achieves ultrafast tuning and switching


Frequency tuning of laser sources in Photonic integrated circuits (PIC) has been based on thermal as well as current changes. Thermal-optic tuning is slow (kHz) and current sweep techniques lead to unwanted intensity modulation. PICs still lack ultra-fast frequency modulation and switching, an essential attribute for the wide adoption of PICs.

Technology Overview

The Pockels laser couples an III-V gain section with lithium-niobate-on-insulator (LNOI) waveguide elements to form an integrated reconfigurable laser. A reflective semiconductor optical amplifier (RSOA) in the III-V gain section is edge-coupled with a spot-size converter to an external cavity on an LNOI chip. The LNOI waveguide takes the form of coupled racetrack resonators with an optimized curve profile. One resonator incorporates a micro heater for broad wavelength tuning, while the other includes driving electrodes for high-speed EO tuning. The electrode resonator can also include PPLN for an integrated second harmonic generation.


The resulting integrated laser is able to frequency tune at a rate of 2.0 x 10^18 Hz/s. The laser has a bandwidth of 15.0 kHz and is able to wavelength tuning over 20 nm. Side mode suppression of 50 dB is achieved by the resonator coupling design and intensity modulation of 50 MHz has been demonstrated. Integrated PPLN allows for the generation of frequency-doubled light. 


Fully integrated optical arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) on-chip for communications and microwave photonics. LiDAR, atomic physics, atom-based quantum computing, AR/VR, sensing.

URV Reference Number: 2-22052
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Curtis Broadbent
Licensing Manager
University of Rochester
Qiang Lin
Mingxiao Li