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Uniaxial strain effect on the electronic and optical properties of wurtzite GaN-AlGaN quantum-well lasers

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3 Author(s)
Yee Chia Yeo ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore ; Chong, T.C. ; Ming-Fu Li

The valence subband structures of uniaxial-strained wurtzite (WZ) GaN-AlGaN quantum wells (QW's) are calculated using multiband effective-mass theory. The optical gain is investigated using a numerical approach in which we account for the subband structure modification and mixing due to the anisotropic strain in the QW plane. We show that the mixing of the HH and LH bases in the uniaxial-strained (0001) GaN-AlGaN QW decouples |X⟩ and |Y⟩ at the Γ point, giving two topmost subbands, Y1 and X1, which can be more widely separated than the HH1 and LH1 subbands in the biaxial-strained (0001) GaN-AlGaN QW. We resolve the states of the subband dispersion in terms of the |X⟩, |Y⟩, and |Z⟩ bases, and show the compositional variation as a function of the in-plane wavevector. Under uniaxial strain, it is possible to exploit the existence of the preferred symmetry at the valence band maximum and the reduced band-edge density-of-states due to the anisotropic in-plane energy dispersion to achieve lower transparency carrier and current densities and higher differential gain in comparison with a pseudomorphic biaxial-strained QW. We show that, for a QW laser structure with the optical cavity along the x axis, uniaxial compressive strain in the y direction shows greater improvement than the uniaxial tensile strain in the x direction of the same magnitude. Thus, a suitable uniaxial strain could be used to improve the threshold performance of WZ GaN-based QW lasers

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 11 )