We report, for the first time to our knowledge, an on-chip mode-locked laser diode (OCMLLD) that employs multimode interference reflectors to eliminate the need of facet mirrors to form the cavity. The result is an OCMLLD that does not require cleaved facets to operate, enabling us to locate this OCMLLD at any location within the photonic chip. This OCMLLD provides a simple source of optical pulses that can be inserted within a photonic integrated circuit chip for subsequent photonic signal processing operations within the chip (modulation, optical filtering, pulse rate multiplication, and so on). The device was designed using standardized building blocks of a generic active/passive InP technology platform, fabricated in a multi-project wafer run, and achieved mode-locking operation at its fundamental frequency, given the uncertainty at the design step of the optical length of these mirrors, critical to achieve colliding pulse mode-locked operation.
diode lasers; laser sources; optical coherence tomography; ring lasers; ring resonators; total internal reflection