A detailed experimental investigation of a wavelength switchable multichannel grating cavity (MGC) laser is reported with properties particularly suitable for applications in broadband wavelength division multiplexing systems. The source consists of a bar of laser ridges with one facet antireflection (AR) coated, a collimating lens and a diffraction grating. By changing the electrical bias to individual laser ridges, precise wavelength switching is achieved across the complete gain spectrum of the diode laser material. A detailed investigation of multiple simultaneous channel generation is reported and a method is outlined to overcome channel crosstalk. Good agreement between theory and experiment is reported.
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