Nitride based laser diodes utilize as an active medium extremely strained InGaN quantum wells. As the nitride materials are piezoelectric in their nature, this strain is reflected in a strong piezoelectric field. This tilts the energy bands and shifts the emission spectrum position through the Quantum Confined Stark Effect (QCSE). As the laser diode is operated at elevated currents, the built-in electric field is reduced due to the screening by injected carriers. This leads to the increase of emission energy (blue-shift). It has been a subject of many discussions whether the field is preserved at lasing, or is it completely screened.
In this work we compare the emission wavelength shift of nitride laser diodes and superluminescent diodes having different QW compositions. The superluminescent diodes allow us to study the emission spectrum at higher carrier densities than for laser diodes. In laser structures, we clearly see the saturation of the blue-shift at threshold current. While, on the other hand, we see the continuous shift of the emission wavelength in case of superluminescent diodes. This suggests, that the piezoelectric fields are not fully screened at threshold current. We also see that for UV laser diodes the emission line shift is much smaller than for blue wavelength devices. This implies practically complete screening of the electric field for UV laser while the lasing of blue laser diodes occurs at high electric field conditions.
The AlGaInN material system allows for laser diodes to be fabricated over a very wide range of wavelengths from UV, ~380 nm, to the visible ~530 nm, by tuning the indium content of the laser GaInN quantum well. This makes nitride laser diodes suitable for a vast range of applications, but most of them require not only the proper wavelength emission, but also high optical power and good beam quality. The typical approach - wide ridge waveguide - often suffers from spatial multimode emission (low beam quality). We report our initial results with tapered GaN lasers to increase the maximum optical power of the device with a good beam profile. This combination opens new possibilities for GaN laser diode technology in quantum technologies including optical atomic clocks and quantum gravity sensors.
The gain saturation is a crucial factor limiting achievable output power of superluminescent diodes (SLD), as it exponentially depends on optical gain value. Contrary to laser diodes, in SLDs gain is increasing with the increasing current even much above the transparency conditions. Therefore, SLDs provide us with an unique possibility to examine gain under high current densities (high carrier injection). In our work we examined SLDs fabricated in a “j-shape” ridge-waveguide geometry having chips of the length of 700 μm and 1000 μm, emitting in the blue-violet region. By comparing the amplified spontaneous emission measured along the device waveguide with true spontaneous emission measured in perpendicular direction, we are able to extract optical gain as a function of injected current. We show, that in our devices spontaneous emission exhibits a square-root-like dependence on current which is commonly associated with the presence of “droop” in case of nitride light emitting diodes. However, along the waveguide axis, fast processes of stimulated recombination dominate which eliminates the efficiency reduction. Calculated optical gain shows a substantial saturation for current densities above 8 kA/cm2.
The latest developments in AlGaInN laser diode technology are reviewed. The AlGaInN material
system allows for laser diodes to be fabricated over a very wide range of wavelengths from u.v. to
the visible, i.e., 380-530nm, by tuning the indium content of the laser GaInN quantum well. Of
specific interest for defence applications is blue-green laser diode technology for underwater
telecommunications and sensing applications.
Ridge waveguide laser diode structures are fabricated to achieve single mode operation with optical
powers of <100mW in the 400-420nm wavelength range with high reliability. Low defectivity and
highly uniform GaN-substrates allow arrays and bars of nitride lasers to be fabricated. In addition,
high power operation of AlGaInN laser diodes is demonstrated with the operation of a single chip,
‘mini-array’ consisting of a 3 stripe common p-contact at powers up to 2.5W cw in the 408-412 nm
wavelength range and a 16 stripe common p-contact laser array at powers over 4W cw.
We present ultraviolet InGaN superluminescent diodes fabricated in a “j-shape” waveguide geometry. Under CW operation at room temperatures, devices emit optical power up to 80 mW at 395 nm with no tendency for lasing. The chip length was 1.5 mm. Emitted optical power was very sensitive to the device temperature. This effect limited the maximum optical power obtained in CW operation. With better packaging scheme better performance in CW regime should be achieved.
We demonstrate the possibility of fabrication of InGaN laser diode with an extremely thin lower AlGaN cladding (200 nm) by using high electron concentration, plasmonic GaN substrate. The plasmonic substrates were fabricated by one of high-pressure methods – ammonothermal method or multi-feed-seed growth method and have an electron concentration from 5x1019 cm-3 up to 1x1020 cm-3. New plasmonic substrate devices, in spite of their extremely thin lower AlGaN cladding, showed identical properties to these manufactured with traditional, thick lower cladding design. They were characterized by identical threshold current density, slope efficiency and differential gain. Thin AlGaN devices are additionally characterized by low wafer bow and very low density of dislocations (<104 cm-2).
Junction temperature of a laser diode (LD) determines the value of threshold current, maximum achievable power and device lifetime. In this work we studied this parameter by a method of comparing current-voltage characteristics measured under pulse bias (at various temperatures) with DC characteristic obtained at room temperature. As exemplary devices we chose various laser diode arrays and single emitter laser with different substrate thickness. The results show, that the primary factor determining thermal resistance of the device is the chip’s surface, which means, that a dominating mechanism is related with a heat transfer between the chip and the heat sink.
Highly n-doped GaN is a material of a reduced refractive index which may substitute AlGaN as a cladding layer in
InGaN laser diodes. In this study we focus on the determination of the optical absorption and the refractive index of
GaN:O having the electron concentration between 1·1018 - 8·1019 cm-3. Though the measured absorption coefficient for
the highest doped GaN are rather high (200 cm-1) we show, using an optical mode simulation, that you can design a
InGaN laser diode operating in blue/green region with decent properties and low optical losses. We propose to use
relatively thin AlGaN interlayer to separate plasmonic GaN from the waveguide and thus to dramatically reduce the