14 March 2018 Root causes investigation of catastrophic optical bulk damage in high-power InGaAs-AlGaAs strained QW lasers
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High-power single-mode (SM) and multi-mode (MM) InGaAs-AlGaAs strained quantum well (QW) lasers are critical components for both terrestrial and space satellite communications systems. Since these lasers predominantly fail by catastrophic and sudden degradation due to COD, it is especially crucial for space satellite applications to investigate reliability, failure modes, and degradation mechanisms of these lasers. Our group reported a new failure mode in MM and SM InGaAs-AlGaAs strained QW lasers in 2009 and 2016, respectively. Our group also reported in 2017 that bulk failure due to catastrophic optical bulk damage (COBD) is the dominant failure mode of both SM and MM lasers that were subject to long-term life-tests. For the present study, we report root causes investigation of COBD by performing long-term lifetests followed by failure mode analysis (FMA) using various micro-analytical techniques including electron beam induced current (EBIC), time-resolved electroluminescence (EL), focused ion beam (FIB), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS). Our life-tests with accumulated test hours of over 25,000 hours for SM lasers and over 35,000 hours for MM lasers generated a number of COBD failures with various failure times. EBIC techniques were employed to study dark line defects (DLDs) generated in SM COBD failures stressed under different test conditions. FIB and high-resolution TEM were employed to prepare cross sectional and plan view TEM specimens to study DLD areas (dislocations) in post-aged SM lasers. Time-resolved EL techniques were employed to study initiation and progressions of dark spots and dark lines in real time as MM lasers were aged. Lastly, to investigate precursor signatures of failure and degradation mechanisms responsible for COBD in both SM and MM lasers, we employed DLTS techniques to study a role that electron traps (non-radiative recombination centers) play in degradation of these lasers. Our in-depth root causes investigation results are reported.
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Yongkun Sin, Yongkun Sin, Zachary Lingley, Zachary Lingley, Talin Ayvazian, Talin Ayvazian, Miles Brodie, Miles Brodie, Neil Ives, Neil Ives, } "Root causes investigation of catastrophic optical bulk damage in high-power InGaAs-AlGaAs strained QW lasers", Proc. SPIE 10553, Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XVII, 105531E (14 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2287288; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2287288

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