Sampled Grating Distributed Bragg Reflector (SGDBR) monolithic tunable lasers are now entering the production phase in telecommunications applications. These tunable lasers are unique in that they offer wide wavelength tuning (1525 to 1565 nm), fast wavelength tuning (5 ns) and high speed amplitude modulation all on the same monolithic chip1,2,3,4. This work studies the applicability of SGDBR monolithic tunable laser diodes for biomedical imaging using swept-wavelength or Fourier domain optical coherence tomography. This paper will present our work involved with utilizing the strengths (table 1) of this SGDBR laser class and mitigating the weaknesses (table 2) of this device for swept-wavelength imaging applications. The strengths of the laser are its small size (portable solutions), wide wavelength range (good distance resolution), fast switching speeds (improved update rates), wide choice of center wavelengths, and lower power consumption. The weaknesses being addressed are the complicated wavelength tuning mechanism (3 wavelength control currents), wider laser linewidth (10s of MHz), moderate output power (10mW ), and the need for improved laser packaging. This paper will highlight the source characterization results and discuss an initial measurement architecture utilizing the SGDBR measurement engine.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

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