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Wavelength-tunable polymer distributed feedback lasers controlled by dielectric elastomer actuators

: Berdin, Alex
: Santer, S.; Sakhno, O.

Potsdam, 2017, XI, 69 pp.
Potsdam, Univ., Master Thesis, 2017
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
VIP; 03V0881; EDEL
Validierung elektrisch durchstimmbarer elastischer Beugungsgitter und DFB-Laser
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IAP ()
organic thin film DFB laser; elastomer-based diffraction and photonic elements; electricro-mechanically induced tunable laser emission; DEA module; DFB laser array

Thin- film organic distributed feedback (DFB) dye lasers are a topic of continuous research and development due to their quality to enable a narrow-band, single-mode emission applicable e.g. as compact biosensors or integrated lab-on-a-chip systems. If such DFB dye lasers are processed with elastomeric polymers they offer possibilities to continuously tune their spectral emission properties due the flexibility and stretchability of the elastomers. The combination with a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) enables the control of the emission wavelength by means of electro-mechanical actuation. This thesis presents effective and reproducible technological methods for fabrication, including new replication processes, of DFB laser and DEA module components, followed by techniques for their as sembling and integration to a single device. Within the scope of this work, a selection of compatible organic laser dyes, polymer matrices and solvents were investigated to achieve lasing in a broad spectral range of 575 700 nm. The modification of the polymer matrix through addition of plasticizers, as well as the development of a new ultra-thin DFB laser design leads to lower impact of the mechanical properties during actuation. Different measurement setups are used to examine the laser characteristics regarding the lifetime, optical gain, threshold and the efficiency. The e ort results in several wavelength tunable laser devices, which show emission within a spectral range of 615 - 692 nm, a total of 77 nm by means of mechanical tuning and within a spectral range of 608 - 656 nm, a total of 48 nm by means of electromechanical actuation. Further research was focused on the combination of distinct active layer systems with different periods and dyes onto a single DEA module in order to form a laser array with extended laser emission tuning range. The experiments reveal a tuning range of 573 - 659 nm, a total of 86 nm, the highest yet reported emission tuning on a single module.