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Laser diode bistability as sensor of optical signals parameters

Gonzalez-Marcos, Ana P. and Martin-Pereda, Jose A. and Hurtado, Antonio (2004) Laser diode bistability as sensor of optical signals parameters. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 5579. pp. 152-159. ISSN 0277-786X

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Laser Diodes have been employed many times as light sources on different kinds of optical sensors. Their main function in these applications was the emission of an optical radiation impinging onto a certain object and, according to the characteristics of the reflected light, some information about this object was obtained. Laser diodes were acting, in a certain way, just as passive devices where their only function was to provide the adequate radiation to be later measured and analyzed. The objective of this paper is to report a new concept on the use of laser diodes taking into account their optical bistable properties. As it has been shown in several places, different laser diodes as, for example, DFB lasers and FP lasers, offer bistable characteristics being these characteristics a function of different parameters as wavelength, light polarization or temperature. Laser Bistability is strongly dependent on them and any small variation of above parameters gives rise to a strong change in the characteristics of its non-linear properties. These variations are analyzed and their application in sensing reported. The dependence on wavelength, spectral width, input power and phase variations, mainly for a Fabry-Perot Laser structure as basic configuration, is shown in this paper.