Design of the oxide–confined vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) with enhanced engineered lateral leakage of high–order transverse optical modes is studied by three–dimensional optical modeling to evaluate the robustness of the leakage selection approach with respect to thermal effects. Both Joule heat and heat generated by the free carrier absorption of the optical mode in the doped semiconductor layers and their impact on the refractive index profile are considered. We show that for typical regimes of the VCSEL design and operation absorption–induced heat exceeds by several times the Joule heat while the shape of the generated heated domains strongly differ. Modeling shows that well defined spectral separation between the transverse optical modes persists upon increase in injection current. Further, upon increase in current the lateral extension of the fundamental mode decreases and the mode shrinks towards the center of the VCSEL structure thus reducing the lateral leakage and increasing the mode lifetime, whereas similar effect for high–order transverse modes is much weaker. Thus the preferred conditions for the lasing of the fundamental mode persist and even improve upon current increase. At high currents the fundamental mode becomes favorable at all aperture diameters, also for those where the cold cavity approximation predicts preference for the excited mode lasing.
V. P. Kalosha, V. A. Shchukin, N. N. Ledentsov, J.-R. Kropp, and N. N. Ledentsov, "Robustness versus thermal effects of single-mode operation of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers with engineered leakage of high-order transverse optical modes," Proc. SPIE 10122, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XXI, 101220K (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 25 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253021.
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