Mid-infrared laser diodes have been fabricated and tested, and semiconductor materials related to mid-infrared lasers have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD).
The temperature dependent lattice constant of Al0.9 Ga0.1AsySb1−y, GaSb, AlSb and InSb have been examined using XRD measurements. For Al0.9Ga0.1AsySb1−y, GaSb and AlSb, the lattice constants were measured for temperatures up to 546°C, while for InSb it was examined up to 325°C. For AlSb, also the temperature dependent Poisson ratio was determined. It was found that the thermal expansion of Al-containing layers above room temperature was higher than previously reported. An expression for the lattice matching condition for Al0.9Ga0.1AsySb1−y epilayers on GaSb substrates as a function of temperature was presented. For GaSb, it was found that the work of Bublik et al.  provided accurate data for the temperature dependent lattice constant, and either our data or Bublik et al. ’s data should be used. The measurement technique was validated by measuring the lattice constants of Si and GaAs, where our measured values were found to be in agreement with previously published values. For AlSb it was found that the thermal expansion was larger than previously reported in the literature. For InSb it was found that the lattice constant near room temperature was larger than previously reported, and the thermal expansion above 100°C was larger than previously reported.
Laser material was grown using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). The grown samples were processed into Y-junction laser diodes. The lasers were etched using inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching (ICP-RIE) and photoresist (PR) ma-N 440 was spun on and baked for use as electrical insulation. The insulation layer was etched using reactive ion etching (RIE) to uncover the top of the etched lasers for contacting. It was found that a O2/CF4 etch gave the best uniformity of the insulation layer. The lasers were contacted and tested.
The Y-junction lasers were characterized using power measurements for optical power, multimeters for diode voltage, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) for spectral measurements, and an infrared camera for near and far field measurements. The measurements suggested that the curved waveguide did not guide the light, most likely due to a low refractive index contrast. This was later supported by scanning electron microscope (SEM) measurements, which showed an etch depth of 1.4 μm, much lower than the etch target of 1.9 μm.
The Y-junction waveguides were simulated using the beam propagation method (BPM). Based on 2D BPM simulations, it was found that an effective refractive index contrast of at least 0.03 is required for guiding light in a curved waveguide for our dimensions, and that waveguide roughness due to processing is less important. The simulations support the findings from the laser measurements, and further suggest that a deeper etch is required for functioning Y-junction laser diodes. Suggestions for improvements to the manufacturing mid-infrared laser diodes are presented.