The design of the next generation of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) will greatly depend on the availability of accurate modeling tools. Comprehensive models of semiconductor lasers are needed to predict realistic behavior of various laser devices, such as the spatially nonuniform gain that results from current crowding. Advanced physics models for VCSELs require benchmark quality experimental data for model validation. This paper presents preliminary results of a collaborative effort at ARL to fabricate and experimentally characterize test optoelectronic structures and VCSEL devices, and at CFDRC to develop comprehensive multiphysics modeling, design and optimization tools for semiconductor lasers and photodetectors. Experimental characterization procedure and measurements of optical and electrical data for oxide-confined intracavity VCSELs are presented. A comprehensive multiphysics modeling tools CFD-ACE+ O’SEMI has been developed. The modeling tool integrates electronic, optical, thermal, and material gain data models for the design of VCSELs and edge emitting lasers (EELs). This paper presents multidimensional simulation analysis of current crowding in oxide-confined intracavity VCSELs. Computational results helped design the test structures and devices and are used as a guide for experimental measurements performed at ARL.
A three-dimensional electrical-thermal-optical numerical solver is applied to model top-emitting oxide-confined vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) with GaAs/AlGaAs multiple-quantum-well active region. CW mode of operation is simulated over a range of voltages, covering sub-threshold spontaneous emission and lasing emission. Effect of self-distribution of electrical current is demonstrated for the first time in a self-consistent electrical-thermal-optical simulation of VCSELs.
A high-bandwidth, free-space integrated optoelectronic interconnect system was built for high-density, parallel data transmission and processing. Substrate-emitting 980 nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays and photodetector arrays, both driven by complimentary metal- oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuitry, were employed as a transmitter and receiver. We designed, fabricated, hybridized, and packaged the VCSEL transmitter and photoreceiver arrays. Data rates above 1 Gbs for each channel on the VCSEL/CMOS emitter and 500 MHz for each channel on photoreceiver were measured, respectively. We integrated the optical interconnects using free-space optical alignment and demonstrated serial and parallel transmissions of digital data and video images.
A free-space integrated optoelectronic interconnect was built to explore parallel data transmission and processing. This interconnect comprises an 8 X 8 substrate-emitting 980-nm InGaAs/GaAs quantum-well vertical-cavity surface- emitting laser (VCSEL) array and an 8 X 8 InGaAs/InP P-I- N photodetector array. Both VCSEL and detector arrays were flip-chip bonded onto the complimentary metal-oxide- semiconductor (CMOS) circuitry, packaged in pin-grid array packages, and mounted on customized printed circuit boards. Individual data rates as high as 1.2 Gb/s on the VCSEL/CMOS transmitter array were measured. After the optical alignment, we carried out serial and parallel transmissions of digital data and live video scenes through this interconnect between two computers. Images captured by CCD camera were digitized to 8-bit data signals and transferred in serial bit-stream through multiple channels in this parallel VCSEL-detector optical interconnect. A data processing algorithm of edge detection was attempted during the data transfer. Final images were reconstructed back from optically transmitted and processed digital data. Although the transmitter and detector offered much higher data rates, we found that the overall image transfer rate was limited by the CMOS receiver circuits. A new design for the receiver circuitry was accomplished and submitted for fabrication.