Extended and quasi-continuous tuning of quantum cascade lasers using superstructure gratings and integrated heaters
In this work, we demonstrate broad electrical tuning of quantum cascade lasers at 9.25 μm, 8.5 μm, and 4.4 μm in continuous wave operation using Vernier-effect distributed Bragg reflectors based on superstructure gratings. Integrated micro-heaters allow to switch from one Vernier channel to the other, while predictable and mode-hop free tuning can be obtained in each channel modulating the laser current with a side mode suppression ratio as high as 30 dB. The resulting device behaves effectively as a switchable multicolour tunable source. Tuning up to 6.5% of the central wavelength is observed. To prove the importance of the developed devices for high resolution molecular spectroscopy, a N2O absorption spectrum has been measured.