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Long-wavelength quantum-dot lasers on GaAs substrates: from media to device concepts

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1 Author(s)
Ledentsov, N.N. ; Inst. fur Festkorperphysik, Tech. Univ. Berlin, Germany

Recent progress in semiconductor quantum-dot (QD) lasers approaches qualitatively new levels, when dramatic progress in the development of the active medium already motivates search for new concepts in device and system designs. QDs, which represent coherent inclusions of narrower bandgap semiconductor in a wider gap semiconductor matrix, offer a possibility to extend the wavelength range of heterostructure lasers on GaAs substrates to 1.3 μm and beyond and create devices with dramatically improved performance, as compared to commercial lasers on InP substrates. Low-threshold current density (100 A/cm2), very high characteristic temperature (170 K up to 65°C), and high differential efficiency (85%) are realized in the same device. The possibility to stack QDs (e.g., tenfold) without an increase in the threshold current density and any degradation of the other device parameters allow realization of high modal gain devices suitable for applications in 1.3-μm short-cavity transmitters and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The 1.3-μm QD GaAs VCSELs operating at 1.2-mW continuous-wave output power at 25°C are realized, and long operation lifetime is manifested. Evolution of GaAs-based 1.3-μm lasers offers a unique opportunity for telecom devices and systems. Single-epitaxy VCSEL vertical integration with intracavity electrooptic modulators for lasing wavelength adjustment and/or ultrahigh-frequency wavelength modulation is possible. Arrays of wavelength-tunable VCSELs and wavelength-tunable resonant-cavity photodetectors may result in a new generation of "intelligent" cost-efficient systems for ultrafast data links in telecom.

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Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 5 )