BeamExpress S.A. (Lausanne, Switzerland) has demonstrated 1.5-micron waveband optically pumped tunable Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) with 38-nm tunability at tuning voltage values below 4 V.
Devices with 5-micron apertures show 1-mW continuous wave singlemode output power with 40-dB side mode suppression ratio. The fabrication is based on a proprietary technology, including a modified wafer fusion technique. A simple and efficient process allows BeamExpress to monolithically integrate a high performance VCSEL with a micro-electro-mechanincal system (MEMS) tuning structure that can be electrostatically activated at very low tuning voltage using standard low cost electronics, say company representatives.
This demonstration of widely tunable VCSELs that can cover the whole C- or L-bands at tuning voltage values below 4 V opens new perspectives in the quest for cost-effective, high performance tunable lasers for metro optical networks.
"Tunable lasers are key elements for reconfigurable metro networks, but will be commercially viable components only if their cost is lowered to match that of current fixed-wavelength telecommunication lasers," contends Professor Eli Kapon, founder and chief scientist of BeamExpress. "BeamExpress' new tunable VCSEL can meet this requirement because of the inherently inexpensive manufacturing technology involved," he adds.