Indexed on: 10 Mar '18Published on: 10 Mar '18Published in: Optics express
We present self-stabilization of the inter-mode separation of a quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting at 9 μm via cascaded second order nonlinearity. This effect has been observed in lasers that have the optical cavity embedded into a microwave strip-line. The intermodal beat note spectra narrow with increasing laser output power, up to less than 100 kHz. A flat frequency response to direct modulation up to 14 GHz is reported for these microstrip QCLs. The laser inter-mode spacing can be locked to an external RF signal and tuned by more than 1 MHz from the free-running spacing. A parallel study on the same laser material in a non-microstrip line waveguide shows superior performances of the microstrip QCL in terms of the intermodal spectral locking and stability. Finally by analyzing our results with the theory of the injection locking of coupled oscillators, we deduce that the microwave power injected in the microstrip QCL is 2 orders of magnitude higher than in the reference laser.