A novel tunable diode laser with liquid crystal intracavity tuning element

Ru Pin Pan*, Yu-Pin Lan, Chao Yuan Chen, Ci Ling Pan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We propose a novel and simple approach for tuning of the laser wavelength. A homogeneously aligned nematic liquid crystal (NLC) cell with 4′-n-pentyl-4-cyanobiphenyl (5CB) is inserted in an external-cavity semiconductor laser as the fine-tuning element of wavelength. Varying the voltage biasing the NLC cell, its extraordinary index of refraction would change due to field-induced reorientation of the LC director. This is equivalent to tune the laser cavity length. As a result, the laser wavelength can be continuously tuned. With a NLC cell 35.5 μm in thickness, the output frequency of the present laser can be tuned over 4 GHz for a 30-cm-long laser cavity without hopping. The driving rms voltage was less than 2 volts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2004
EventProceedings of the 19th International Liquid Crystal Conference, ILCC2002 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20025 Jul 2002


  • External-cavity diode laser
  • Intracavity tuning
  • Nematic liquid crystal cell


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