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1 September 2004 AlGaAsSb/AlGaInAs type-II superlattices for tuning regions in tunable laser diodes
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Tunable laser diodes exploiting the free-carrier plasma-effect are renown for their large tuning range. To control the emission wavelength, carriers are injected into a tuning region inducing a refractive index change. Typically, the material system GaInAsP/InP is used for tuning regions. Since this material shows strong recombination, a large current has to be applied while tuning. Unfortunately, the tuning current causes a parasitic temperature increase of the device acting negatively in a twofold way. Firstly, the index change due to the temperature increase works directly against the index change that is brought about by the plasma-effect. Secondly, many parameters of the laser device depend critically on temperature. Therefore, a reduction of the current consumption would instantly improve all relevant device parameters. In this paper we propose a type-II superlattice consisting of Al0.30Ga0.17In0.53As/Al0.50Ga0.50As0.56Sb0.44 as a tuning region. The staggered band alignment leads to a spatial separation of the electrons and holes. As a result, the recombination rate can be significantly reduced by over one order of magnitude, which in turn leads to an increase of the carrier density as a function of the current. An analysis shows that type-II superlattices can provide an equal tuning range with a reduced current consumption by a factor of six compared to conventional heterostructures.
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Gerhard Rosel, Thomas J. Jacke, Markus Grau, Ralf Meyer, and Markus-Christian Amann "AlGaAsSb/AlGaInAs type-II superlattices for tuning regions in tunable laser diodes", Proc. SPIE 5452, Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics, (1 September 2004);

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