Quantum cascade lasers are the most promising optical source for emission in the mid-infrared and THz region, and they are already used in a large number of applications such as free-space communications, absorption spectroscopy, sensing and so on. In all these applications, the noise properties of the optical sources are critical for the system performance. In this work, the authors present a theoretical study on the intensity noise characteristics of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) under external non-coherent optical injection. The injection locking has been proven in the past beneficial for noise properties of bipolar lasers, and thus this technique is utilized here in quantum cascade lasers. With the help of various analytical and numerical models, it is shown that intensity noise reduction can be achieved in the operation of the so-called locked slave laser compared to its free-running values. The detailed analysis reveals the contribution of the various noise sources to the intensity noise of the laser and how they affect the injection locking process. Using different numerical models, two distinct schemes are investigated, analysed and discussed, injection on the lasing mode or on non-lasing residual modes of the slave laser cavity.
Part of the book: Quantum Cascade Lasers