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The effect of p-contact metallization on the performance of a single-growth-step ridge waveguide InGaAs-GaAs distributed feedback (DFB) laser with a silicon dioxide defined titanium surface grating is analyzed. The metallic surface grating introduces a periodic variation of the loss in the cavity to promote single-frequency emission. Device characteristics for DFBs with 50, 150, and 300 /spl Aring/ of titanium are compared. Under continuous-wave (CW) conditions, the devices with a titanium adhesion layer of only 50 /spl Aring/ operate on single-longitudinal and single-lateral modes, with threshold currents of roughly 14 mA, slope efficiencies of 0.16 W/A and sidemode suppression ratios (SMSRs) of greater than 40 dB.