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Broadband Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser Dual-Comb Sources with Off-Resonant Microwave Injection

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Version 2 2023-06-08, 12:50
Version 1 2023-01-12, 14:27
posted on 2023-06-08, 12:50 authored by Xiaoyu Liao, Ziping Li, Kang Zhou, Wen Guan, Yiran Zhao, Chenjie Wang, Wenjian Wan, Sijia Yang, Zhenzhen Zhang, Chang Wang, J. C. Cao, Heping Zeng, Hua Li
Broadband dual-comb spectroscopy has attracted increasing interests due to its unique advantages in high spectral resolution, fast detection, and so on. Although the dual-comb technique is relatively mature in the infrared wavelengths, it is, currently, not commercially capable of practical applications in the terahertz regime due to the lack of high performance broadband terahertz dual-comb sources. In the terahertz frequency range, the electrically pumped quantum cascade laser (QCL) is a suitable candidate for the dual-comb operation. However, free running terahertz QCL dual-comb sources normally show limited optical bandwidths ($\sim$100-200 GHz). Although the resonant microwave injection locking has been widely used to broaden the emission spectra of terahertz QCLs by modulating the laser drive current at the cavity round-trip frequency, it is hard to be employed to broaden the dual-comb bandwidths due to the large phase noise induced by the resonant injection and non-ideal microwave circuits. Therefore, it is challenging to obtain broadband terahertz dual-comb sources that can fully exploits the laser gain bandwidth. Here, we employ an off-resonant microwave injection to significantly broaden the dual-comb bandwidth of a terahertz QCL dual-comb source emitting around 4.2 THz. The measured optical dual-comb bandwidth is broadened from 147 GHz in free running to $>$450 GHz under the off-resonant injection. The broadened dual-comb bandwidth is experimentally proved by the transmission measurements of a filter and a GaAs etalon. By performing a simple numerical analysis based on a rate equation model, we explain that the broadband dual-comb operation under the off-resonant microwave injection could be resulted from a wider lasing bandwidth and a higher degree of phase matching.



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