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Narrow Linewidth Frequency modulation
Optical Sensing & Optical Communication

Narrow linewidth semiconductor DFB laser with linear frequency modulation for FMCW LiDAR

On: Mar 05, 2021

In: Optical Sensing & Optical Communication

By: TeraXion

Monolithic distributed feedback semiconductor lasers (1550 nm) for FMCW LiDAR applications have been designed, fabricated and tested. The strong optical frequency modulation distortion observed when a standard DFB laser is modulated with a triangular current waveform is significantly mitigated in our laser. A 100 kHz frequency modulation with amplitude of 0.9 GHz and nonlinear distortion of 0.3%, calculated as the standard deviation of the optical frequency after removal of a linear fit, was measured through an unbalanced fiber interferometer. This was achieved without electronic pre-distortion of the triangular waveform. The 60 kHz intrinsic linewidth of the laser was unaffected by the modulation. Two lasers were co-packaged in a 2.6 cm3 multi-layer ceramic package and coupled to fiber pigtails with micro-lenses. The pins of the ceramic package were soldered to a printed circuit board containing the current sources driving the lasers. This optical source was used in a two-channel LiDAR demonstrator built from off-the-shelf fiber optic components and a two-dimensional gimbal scanning mirror. This demonstrator enabled detecting a target with 10 % Lambertian reflectivity up to a distance of > 120 m and recording point clouds of different scenes. This shows that FMCW LiDAR in combination with highly coherent and linear DFB laser sources is a very promising technology for long range sensing. A version under development will include a silicon photonics chip for further integration and functionality including I/Q detection.


S. Ayotte, K. Bédard, M. Morin, S. Boudreau, A. Desbiens, P. Chrétien, A. Babin, F. Costin, É. Girard-Deschênes, G. Paré-Olivier, L.-P. Perron, M. Wichmann, R. Korn, E. Baumgart, O. Kern, and N. Caspers "Narrow linewidth semiconductor DFB laser with linear frequency modulation for FMCW LiDAR", Proc. SPIE 11693, Photonic Instrumentation Engineering VIII, 116930F (5 March 2021);

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