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Self-consistent solutions to the intersubband rate equations in quantum cascade lasers: Analysis of a GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs device

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3 Author(s)
Donovan, K. ; Institute of Microwaves and Photonics, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom ; Harrison, P. ; Kelsall, R.W.

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The carrier transition rates and subband populations for a GaAs/AlGaAs quantum cascade laser operating in the mid-infrared frequency range are calculated by solving the rate equations describing the electron densities in each subband self-consistently. These calculations are repeated for a range of temperatures from 20 to 300 K. The lifetime of the upper laser level found by this self-consistent method is then used to calculate the gain for this range of temperatures. At a temperature of 77 K, the gain of the laser is found to be 34 cm-1/(kA/cm-2), when only electron–longitudinal-optical phonon transitions are considered in the calculation. The calculated gain decreases to 19.6 cm-1/(kA/cm-2) when electron–electron transition rates are included, thus showing their importance in physical models of these devices. Further analysis shows that thermionic emission could be occurring in real devices. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:89 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2001

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