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7 February 2011 Scaling properties of lithographic VCSELs
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Data are presented demonstrating lithographic vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and their scaling properties. Lithographic VCSELs have simultaneous mode- and current-confinement defined only by lithography and epitaxial crystal growth. The lithographic process of these devices allows getting uniform device size throughout a wafer and easy scaling to manufacture very small lasers. The semiconductor's high thermal conductivity enables the small lithographic VCSEL to have lower thermal resistance than an oxide-aperture VCSEL, while the lithographic fabrication produces high VCSEL uniformity even at small size. Very dense packing is also possible. Devices of 3 μm to 20 μm diameters are fabricated and scaling properties are characterized. 3 μm lithographic VCSELs produce output power of 4.1 mW, with threshold current of 260 μA and slope efficiency of 0.76 W/A at emission wavelength of ~980 nm. These VCSELs also have single-mode single-polarization lasing without the use of a surface grating, and have >25 dB sidemode- suppression-ratio up to 1 mW of output power. Lifetime tests demonstrate that 3 μm VCSEL operates for hundreds of hours at high injection current level of 85 kA/cm2 with 3.7 mW output power without degradation. Scaling properties and low thermal resistance of the lithographic VCSELs can extend the VCSEL technology to manufacturable and reliable small size lasers and densely packed arrays with long device lifetime.
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Abdullah Demir, Guowei Zhao, Sabine Freisem, Xiaohang Liu, and Dennis G. Deppe "Scaling properties of lithographic VCSELs", Proc. SPIE 7952, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XV, 79520O (7 February 2011);

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