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19 February 2018 Thermally stable surface-emitting tilted wave laser
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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.
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V. A. Shchukin, N. N. Ledentsov, V. P. Kalosha, N. Ledentsov Jr., M. Agustin, J. R. Kropp, M. V. Maximov, F. I. Zubov, Yu. M. Shernyakov, A. S. Payusov, N. Yu Gordeev, M. M. Kulagina, and A. E. Zhukov "Thermally stable surface-emitting tilted wave laser", Proc. SPIE 10552, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XXII, 1055207 (19 February 2018);

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