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4 June 2002 Polarization behavior of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers under the influence of in-plane anisotropic strain
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Proceedings Volume 4649, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers VI; (2002)
Event: Symposium on Integrated Optoelectronic Devices, 2002, San Jose, California, United States
It is well known that vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) can abruptly switch between two orthogonal linear polarization states if the current is changed. The impact of externally induced in-plane anisotropic strain on this switching was experimentally demonstrated in proton-implanted devices. In this contribution we present a further and thorough experimental investigation of the polarization behavior of different types of VCSELs (proton-implanted, air-post and oxide-confined), under varying strain conditions. We first measure the influence of the strain on the orientation of the axes of the linear polarization states. These axes can be rotated from the crystallographic direction [110] over [100] to [110]. At the same time, we monitor the exact birefringence. From the combination of these two measurements the amount of residual strain in these devices is deduced. Applying strain not only changes the frequency splitting between the two modes (due to birefringence) and their orientation, but also lifts the degeneracy in the gain of the polarization modes. We therefore also measure the gain difference (dichroism) as a function of the applied strain, via the mode suppression ratio and the optical spectrum. Due to the effect on both the birefringence and the dichroism, strain also changes the position of the polarization switching point as a function of current and can lead to the observation of double (consecutive) polarization switching. All this experimental evidence will help to build up a better understanding of the physics of polarization switching in VCSELs.
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Michael Peeters, Krassimir P. Panajotov, Guy Verschaffelt, Bob Nagler, Jan Albert, Hugo Thienpont, Irina P. Veretennicoff, and Jan Danckaert "Polarization behavior of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers under the influence of in-plane anisotropic strain", Proc. SPIE 4649, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers VI, (4 June 2002);

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