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High-power single-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers

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Title: High-power single-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers
Author(s): O'brien, Thomas
Advisor(s): Chuang, Shun L.
Department / Program: Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline: Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) Single-Mode High-Power
Abstract: Since their invention in 1979, vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) have been the focus of many research efforts due to the wide applicability of so many of their features. Those that operate in the single-mode regime with sufficiently high power are of particular interest because of the need for an energy-efficient solution to the shrinking bit size in hard disk drives. This work addresses this problem by a careful study of the state-of-the-art approaches to high-power single-mode lasing and by integrating the fundamental operating principles into new, novel approaches. The design rules, optimization parameters, fabrication, and characterization of three different structures are presented with an in-depth analysis of performance and future improvement. The devices presented include the metallic spatial filter, the extended pillar design with experimental verification of optimized higher order mode loss, and the surface relief design with an experimentally verified model. The metallic spatial filter is found to show peak output power near 12 mW with a transverse mode spacing of only a few angstroms. The extended pillar design is presented as an improvement over the metallic spatial filter, along with a systematic approach to suppressing the lasing behavior of higher order modes within the cavity. By removing the high reflectivity around the perimeter of the cavity, over 40 mW of single-peak power and 3 mW of single-mode power are attained. An experimental optimization of the oxidation aperture with regard to the size of the external pillar is also presented. Finally, the surface relief structure is presented with full two-dimensional design simulations. Single-mode power near 3 mW with a very low threshold of below 5 mA is shown along with experimental verification of modeling results. In addition, the metallic surface relief design is proposed as a future improvement, along with some preliminary modeling results.
Issue Date: 2012-06-27
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/32019
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Thomas R. O'Brien, Jr.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-06-27
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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