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Dynamic behavior of fundamental-mode stabilized VCSELs using a shallow surface relief

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5 Author(s)
Gustavsson, J.S. ; Dept. of Microtechnology & Nanoscience, Chalmers Univ. of Technol., Goteborg, Sweden ; Haglund, A. ; Bengtsson, J. ; Modh, P.
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An extensive theoretical study was performed on the dynamic behavior of 850-nm-wavelength oxide-confined fundamental-mode stabilized vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), using a shallow surface relief. The surface relief is used to provide lower mirror loss for the fundamental mode, thus acting as a mode discriminator. In this way, single-mode operation at high power levels can be obtained. We utilized a comprehensive model that includes the detailed epitaxial layer structure and device geometry when calculating the optical fields and that accurately accounts for the dynamic effects of carrier density and temperature on the modal distributions. Modulation response, eye diagrams, bit error rate (BER), and relative intensity noise (RIN) were simulated and compared to the performance of VCSELs without a mode discriminator, i.e., conventional multimode VCSELs. The fundamental-mode stabilized VCSELs are associated with a higher out-coupling, which lowers the relaxation oscillation frequency and damping, and strong spatial hole burning, which induces a low-frequency roll-off in the modulation response and contributes to the damping of the relaxation oscillation at low bias. However, their dynamics is fully competitive with conventional multimode VCSELs at both 2.5 and 10 Gb/s although they exhibit a slightly higher eye closure. We only found a 0.5-dB power penalty in the BER. The RIN is enhanced, with a peak that is about 10-15 dB higher, caused by the lower damping of the relaxation oscillation. It should be noted that in the comparison we assume that all modes are equally captured from the multimode VCSEL. A mode-selective loss can severely degrade its performance.

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 6 )