GaN-based distributed feedback laser diodes for optical communications

Steffan Gwyn, Scott Watson, Shaun Viola, Giovanni Giuliano, Thomas J. Slight, Szymon Stanczyk, Szymon Grzanka, Amit Yadav, Kevin E. Docherty, Edik Rafailov, Piotr Perlin, Stephen P. Najda, Mike Leszczynski, Anthony E. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Over the past 20 years, research into Gallium Nitride (GaN) has evolved from LED lighting to Laser Diodes (LDs), with applications ranging from quantum to medical and into communications. Previously, off-the-shelf GaN LDs have been reported with a view on free space and underwater communications. However, there are applications where the ability to select a single emitted wavelength is highly desirable, namely in atomic clocks or in filtered free-space communications systems. To accomplish this, Distributed Feedback (DFB) geometries are utilised. Due to the complexity of overgrowth steps for buried gratings in III-Nitride material systems, GaN DFBs have a grating etched into the sidewall to ensure single mode operation, with wavelengths ranging from 405nm to 435nm achieved. The main motivation in developing these devices is for the cooling of strontium ions (Sr+) in atomic clock applications, but their feasibility for optical communications have also been investigated. Data transmission rates exceeding 1 Gbit/s have been observed in unfiltered systems, and work is currently ongoing to examine their viability for filtered communications. Ultimately, transmission through Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) is desired, to ensure that data is communicated more coherently and efficiently. We present results on the characterisation of GaN DFBs, and demonstrate their capability for use in filtered optical communications systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112070O
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019
Event4th International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, AOP 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 31 May 20194 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • distributed feedback lasers
  • filtered communications
  • Gallium nitride
  • optical communications


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