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This paper presents material-gain and threshold-current calculation of a InGaAs-InP quantum-wire laser in the framework of the k·p method, with included conduction-band nonparabolicity for the first time. The method for band-structure calculation is based on conformal mapping and Fourier expansion. The calculation shows that high material gain (7000 cm-1) can be achieved at room temperature for polarization along the free axis of the quantum wire. We propose an optimized laser structure, based on a stack of quantum wires.