This PDF file contains the front matter associated with SPIE Proceedings Volume 10552 including the Title Page, Copyright information, Table of Contents, Introduction, and Conference Committee listing.
The development of advanced OM5 wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) allowing high modal bandwidth in the spectral range 840-950 nm motivates research in vertical-cavity-surface-emitting-lasers (VCSELs) at wavelengths beyond the previously accepted for short reach communications. Thus, short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) solutions can be implemented as a strategy to satisfy the increasing demand of data rate in datacenter environments. As an alternative solution to 850 nm parallel links, four wavelengths with 30 nm separation between 850 nm and 940 nm can be multiplexed on a single OM5-MMF, so the number of fibers deployed is reduced by a factor of four. In this paper high speed transmission is studied for VCSELs in the 850 nm – 950 nm range. The devices had a modulating bandwidth of ~26-28 GHz. 50 Gb/s non-return-to-zero (NRZ) operation is demonstrated at each wavelength without preemphasis and equalization, with bit-error-rate (BER) below 7% forward error correction (FEC) threshold. Furthermore, the use of single-mode VCSELs (SM-VCSELs) as a way to mitigate the effects of chromatic dispersions in order to extend the maximum transmission distance over OM5 is explored. Analysis of loss as a function of wavelength in OM5 fiber is also performed. Significant decrease is observed, from 2.2 dB/km to less than 1.7 dB/km at 910 nm wavelength of the VCSEL.
Transition from on-off keying to 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) in VCSEL based optical interconnects allows for an increase of data rates, at the cost of 4.8 dB sensitivity penalty. The resulting strained link budget creates a need for accurate VCSEL models for driver integrated circuit (IC) design and system level simulations. Rate equation based equivalent circuit models are convenient for the IC design, but system level analysis requires computationally efficient closed form behavioral models based Volterra series and neural networks. In this paper we present and compare these models.
The development of robust next generation multi-mode VCSEL-based optical links requires an accounting of all penalties in the link. While limitations from fiber bandwidth can be overcome to a significant extent using equalization and forward error correction, noise in the link cannot be equalized. Measurements show that mode partition noise depends on launch condition, and the noise penalty can be decreased using devices with small k factor. Time and frequency domain characterization of mode power fluctuations shows that they occur primarily at frequencies below 5 GHz. These findings guide the development of VCSELs for 25GBaud PAM4 and higher bit rate applications.
We report on mode selection and tuning properties of vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VECSELs) containing coupled semiconductor and external cavities of total length less than 1 mm. Our goal is to create narrowlinewidth (<1MHz) single-frequency VECSELs that operate near 850 nm on a single longitudinal cavity resonance and tune versus temperature without mode hops. We have designed, fabricated, and measured VECSELs with external-cavity lengths ranging from 25 to 800 μm. We compare simulated and measured coupled-cavity mode frequencies and discuss criteria for single mode selection.
Novel lasing modes in a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)-type structure based on an antiwaveguding cavity are studied. Such a VCSEL cavity has an effective refractive index in the cavity region lower than the average index of the distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs). Such device in a stripe geometry does not support in–plane waveguiding mode, and all modes with a high Q-factor are exclusively VCSEL-like modes with similar near field profile in the vertical direction. A GaAlAs–based VCSEL structure studied contains a resonant cavity with multiple GaInAs quantum wells as an active region. The VCSEL structure is processed as an edge-emitting laser with cleaved facets and top contact representing a non–alloyed metal grid. Rectangular-shaped ~400x400 µm pieces are cleaved with perpendicular facets. The contact grid region has a total width of ~70 μm. 7 μm–wide metal stripes serve as non–alloyed metal contact and form periodic rectangular openings having a size of 10x40 μm. Surface emission through the windows on top of the chip is measured at temperatures from 90 to 380 K. Three different types of modes are observed. The longest wavelength mode (mode A) is a VCSEL–like mode at ~854 nm emitting normal to the surface with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the far field ~10°. Accordingly the lasing wavelength demonstrates a thermal shift of the wavelength of 0.06 nm/K. Mode B is at shorter wavelengths of ~840 nm at room temperature, emitting light at two symmetric lobes at tilt angles ~40° with respect to the normal to the surface in the directions parallel to the stripe. The emission wavelength of this mode shifts at a rate 0.22 nm/K according to the GaAs bandgap shift. The angle of mode B with respect to the normal reduces as the wavelength approaches the vertical cavity etalon wavelength and this mode finally merges with the VCSEL mode. Mode B hops between different lateral modes of the VCSEL forming a dense spectrum due to significant longitudinal cavity length, and the thermal shift of its wavelength is governed by the shift of the gain spectrum. The most interesting observation is Mode C, which shifts at a rate 0.06 nm/K and has a spectral width of ~1 nm. Mode C matches the wavelength of the critical angle for total internal reflection for light impinging from semiconductor chip on semiconductor/air interface and propagates essentially as an in–plane mode. According to modeling data we conclude that the lasing mode represents a coupled state between the TM–polarized surface–trapped optical mode and the VCSEL cavity mode. The resulting mode has an extended near field zone and low propagation losses. The intensity of the mode drastically enhances once is appears at resonance with Mode B. A clear threshold is revealed in the L–I curves of all modes and there is a strong competition of the lasing mechanisms once the gain maximum is scanned over the related wavelength range by temperature change.
This paper shows the possibility of stimulated emission in quantum cascades (QC) embedded in a vertical cavity and proposes a design for the first quantum-cascade vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (QC VCSEL). In the proposed design, the top VCSEL mirror is a monolithic high-refractive-index contrast grating (MHCG), which serves as both an optical coupler and as the region in which the vertical component of the electrical field is induced, enabling stimulating emission from the quantum cascades. Using a three-dimensional, fully vectorial optical model, a stand-alone MHCG is analysed in terms of its possible use as a QC VCSEL mirror. The distribution of the optical field and threshold gain in VCSELs with QC embedded in MHCG are also simulated.
Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are used for short-haul optical data transmission with increasing bit rates. The optimization involves both enhanced device designs and the use of higher-order modulation formats. In order to improve the modulation bandwidth substantially, the presented work employs spin-pumped VCSELs (spin-VCSELs) and their polarization dynamics instead of relying on intensity-modulated devices. In spin-VCSELs, the polarization state of the emitted light is controllable via spin injection. By optical spin pumping a single-mode VCSEL is forced to emit light composed of both orthogonal linearly polarized fundamental modes. The frequencies of these two modes differ slightly by a value determined by the cavity birefringence. As a result, the circular polarization degree oscillates with their beat frequency, i.e., with the birefringence-induced mode splitting. We used this phenomenon to show so-called polarization oscillations, which are generated by pulsed spin injection. Their frequency represents the polarization dynamics resonance frequency and can be tuned over a wide range via the birefringence, nearly independent from any other laser parameter. In previous work we demonstrated a maximum birefringence-induced mode splitting of more than 250 GHz. In this work, compared to previous publications, we show an almost doubled polarization oscillation frequency of more than 80 GHz. Furthermore, we discuss concepts to achieve even higher values far above 100 GHz.
The birefringence splitting B, which is the frequency difference between the two fundamental linear polarization modes in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), is the key parameter determining the polarization dynamics of spin-VCSELs that can be much faster than the intensity dynamics. For easy handling and control, electrical tuning of B is favored. This was realized in an integrated chip by thermally induced strain via asymmetric heating with a birefringence tuning range of 45 GHz. In this paper we present our work on VCSEL structures mounted on piezoelectric transducers for strain generation. Furthermore we show a combination of both techniques, namely VCSELs with piezo-thermal birefringence tunability.
Tunable vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) offer a potentially low cost tunable optical source in the 3-5 μm range that will enable commercial spectroscopic sensing of numerous environmentally and industrially important gases including methane, ethane, nitrous oxide, and carbon monoxide. Thus far, achieving room temperature continuous wave (RTCW) VCSEL operation at wavelengths beyond 3 μm has remained an elusive goal. In this paper, we introduce a new device structure that has enabled RTCW VCSEL operation near the methane absorption lines at 3.35 μm. This device structure employs two GaAs/AlGaAs mirrors wafer-bonded to an optically pumped active region comprising compressively strained type-I InGaAsSb quantum wells grown on a GaSb substrate. This substrate is removed in processing, as is one of the GaAs mirror substrates. The VCSEL structure is optically pumped at room temperature with a CW 1550 nm laser through the GaAs substrate, while the emitted 3.3 μm light is captured out of the top of the device. Power and spectrum shape measured as a function of pump power exhibit clear threshold behavior and robust singlemode spectra.
Development of multi-mode, high-power, large-aperture two-dimensional VCSEL arrays, operating at a nominal wavelength of 940nm, with highly stable beam profile will be presented. They are designed and fabricated using Trilumina’s proprietary flip-chip-bondable back-side-emitting VCSEL array chip technology. We have demonstrated that a 150-element VCSEL chip array with the improved design shows divergence angle (FWHM) of less than 15°. Additionally, we have integrated this design into drive circuitry that allows us to achieve peak optical powers in excess of 400W.
VCSEL arrays are the ideal light source for 3D imaging applications. The narrow emission spectrum and the ability for short pulses make them superior to LEDs. Combined with fast photodiodes or special camera chips spatial information can be obtained which is needed in diverse applications like camera autofocus, indoor navigation, 3D-object recognition, augmented reality or autonomously driving vehicles. Pulse operation at the ns scale and at low duty cycle can work with significantly higher current than traditionally used for VCSELs in continuous wave operation. With reduced thermal limitations at low average heat dissipation very high currents become feasible and tens of Watts output power have been realized with small VCSEL chips. The optical emission pattern of VCSELs can be tailored to the desired field of view using beam shaping elements. Such optical elements also enable laser safe class 1 products. A detailed analysis of the complete system and the operation mode is required to calculate the maximum permitted power for a safe system. The good VCSEL properties like robustness, stability over temperature and the potential for integrated solutions open a huge potential for VCSELs in new mass applications in the consumer and automotive markets.
MEMS VCSELs are one of the most promising swept source (SS) lasers for optical coherence tomography (OCT) and one of the best candidates for future integration with endoscopes, surgical probes and achieving an integrated OCT system. However, the current MEMS-based SS are processed on the III-V wafers, which are small, expensive and challenging to work with. Furthermore, the actuating part, i.e., the MEMS, is on the top of the structure which causes a strong dependence on packaging to decrease its sensitivity to the operating environment. This work addresses these design drawbacks and proposes a novel design framework. The proposed device uses a high contrast grating mirror on a Si MEMS stage as the bottom mirror, all of which is defined in an SOI wafer. The SOI wafer is then bonded to an InP III-V wafer with the desired active layers, thereby sealing the MEMS. Finally, the top mirror, a dielectric DBR (7 pairs of TiO2 - SiO2), is deposited on top. The new device is based on a silicon substrate with MEMS defined on a silicon membrane in an enclosed cavity. Thus the device is much more robust than the existing MEMS VCSELs. This design also enables either a two-way actuation on the MEMS or a smaller optical cavity (pull-away design), i.e., wider FSR (Free Spectral Range) to increase the wavelength sweep. Fabrication of the proposed device is outlined and the results of device characterization are reported.
We propose a novel optical sensing system based on one device that both emits and detects light consisting of a verticalcavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) incorporating an high contrast grating (HCG) as a top mirror. Since HCGs can be very sensitive to the optical properties of surrounding media, they can be used to detect gases and liquid. The presence of a gas or a liquid around an HCG mirror causes changes of the power reflectance of the mirror, which corresponds to changes of the VCSEL’s cavity quality factor and current-voltage characteristic. By observation of the current-voltage characteristic we can collect information about the medium around the HCG. In this paper we investigate how the properties of the HCG mirror depend on the refractive index of the HCG surroundings. We present results of a computer simulation performed with a three-dimensional fully vectorial model. We consider silicon HCGs on silica and designed for a 1300 nm VCSEL emission wavelength. We demonstrate that our approach can be applied to other wavelengths and material systems.
VCSELs became dominant laser sources in many short optical link applications such as datacenter, active cables, etc. Actual standards and commercialized VCSEL are providing 25 Gb/s data rates, but new solutions are expected to settle the next device generation enabling 100 Gb/s. Directly modulated VCSEL have been extensively studied and improved to reach bandwidths in the range of 26-32 GHz [Chalmers, TU Berlin], however at the price of increased applied current and thus reduced device lifetime. Furthermore, the relaxation oscillation limit still subsists with this solution. Thus, splitting the emission and the modulation functions as done with DFB lasers is a very promising alternative [TI-Tech, TU Berlin]. Here, we study the vertical integration of an ElectroAbsorption Modulator (EAM) within a VCSEL, where the output light of the VCSEL is modulated through the EAM section. In our original design, we finely optimized the EAM design to maximize the modulation depth by implementing perturbative Quantum Confined Stark Effect (QCSE) calculations, while designing the vertical integration of the EAM without penalty on the VCSEL static performances. We will present the different fabricated vertical structures, as well as the experimental electrical and optical static measurements for those configurations demonstrating a very good agreement with the reflectivity and absorption simulations obtained for both the VCSEL and the EAM-VCSEL structures. Finally, to reach very high frequency modulation we studied the BCB electrical properties up to 110 GHz and investigated coplanar and microstrip lines access to decrease both the parasitic capacitance and the influence of the substrate.
Here we investigate the influence of the p- and n-oxide-aperture radii in all-semiconductor GaAs-based verticalcavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), designed for 980 nm, on the modulation time constant (τ). Our analysis shows that the minimum value of τ is obtained if the oxide layers on both sides of the junction have identical depths. The simulations of the number of oxide layers on both p- and n-type sides reveal that double p- and n-oxidations are the most effective in the reduction of the modulation time constant as compared to single oxide layers.
We reduce the epitaxial design complexity of our conventional single-cavity oxide-aperture vertical-cavity surfaceemitting lasers (VCSELs) to reduce manufacturing costs while still meeting our internal 980 nanometer VCSEL performance goals via simplicity-in-design principles. We achieve maximum static single-mode optical output powers exceeding 4 milliwatts with small-signal modulation bandwidths exceeding 30 gigahertz at an ambient temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius for VCSELs with an oxide-aperture diameter of about 4 micrometers. Neighbor VCSELs with oxide-aperture diameters above 15 micrometers have maximum room temperature multiple-mode optical output powers of about 20 milliwatts with small-signal modulation bandwidths exceeding 20 gigahertz. The performance of our conventional oxide-confined 980 nanometer simplicity VCSELs exceeds the performance of our previously-reported and more complex 980 nanometer VCSEL epitaxial designs where we previously achieved maximum small-signal modulation bandwidths of about 26 gigahertz with oxide-aperture diameters of about 4 to 6 micrometers.
This paper presents results of numerical simulations of a GaAs-based vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, emitting at 980 nm. These simulations concern the influence of the number of top DBR pairs on the laser’s threshold parameters, as well as the optical loses in the cavity. Moreover, electrical parameters such as the device’s resistance and its capacitance-related temporal characteristics are analyzed as functions of the thickness of the top DBR. The simulations suggest that there is a possibility of a significant reduction in the number of pairs in the top DBR that can be beneficial in certain applications.
New applications in industrial, automotive and datacom applications require vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) operating at very high ambient temperatures at ultrahigh speed. We discuss issues related to high temperature performance of the VCSELs including temperature response and spectral properties. The influence of the gain-to-cavity wavelength detuning on temperature performance and spectral width of the VCSELs is discussed. Performance of the oxide-confined 850 nm VCSELs with increased temperature stability capable of operating at bit rates up to 25 Gbit/s at heat sink temperature of 150°C and 35Gbit/s at 130°C. Furthermore, opposite to previous studies of VCSELs with large gain-to-cavity detuning, which demonstrated strongly increased spectral width and a strong redistribution of the mode intensities upon current increase. VCSELs demonstrated in this work show good reproducibility of a narrow spectrum in a wide range of currents and temperatures. Such performance strongly improves the transmission distance over multi-mode fiber and can reduce mode partition noise during high speed operation.