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Resonant tunneling in quantum cascade lasers

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6 Author(s)
C. Sirtori ; Lab. Central de Recherches, Thomson-CSF, Orsay, France ; F. Capasso ; J. Faist ; A. L. Hutchinson
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Experimental evidence that in quantum cascade lasers electron injection into the active region is controlled by resonant tunneling between two-dimensional subbands is discussed. A quantitative analysis is carried out using an equation for the current density based on a tight-binding approximation. Electron injection into the active region is optimized when the current density is limited by the lifetime of the excited state of the laser transition. In this regime, quasi-equilibrium is reached between the population of the injector ground state and that of the excited state of the laser transition characterized by a common quasi-Fermi level. The design of the injector depends on the selected laser active region; in particular, the choice of physical parameters, such as doping concentration and injection barrier thicknesses, is in general different for vertical or diagonal transition lasers. The paper concludes with an investigation of the transport properties at threshold and its dependence on stimulated emission; a relationship between the differential resistance above threshold and the value of the slope efficiency is deduced

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 9 )