Skip to Main Content
The near fields of GaAs double-heterostructure (DH) laser mirrors are studied both in photoluminescent (PL) excitation and in lasing emission. The various liquid-phase-epitaxial (LPE) layers of the laser diode are optically delineated, with m resolution, in a wavelength-selective PL detection system. The near fields of the transverse lasing modes are correlated with the LPE layers that constitute the optical waveguide. With special emphasis on the large-cavity fundamental-mode Ppn'N laser, it is found that small changes in refractive index within the waveguide have pronounced effects on the distribution of stimulated power within the LPE layers. The fundamental mode is found to be contained within the slightly higher refractive-index gain region. This explains the previously observed localization of catastrophic mirror damage and the anomalously large angles of beam divergence. High-order modes are also excited in the gain region when its thickness and refractive-index step within the waveguide exceed some prescribed limits.