GaAs based Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Transistor-Lasers
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The ever-increasing demand for broadband capacity of the global optical communication networks puts enormous requirements on the semiconductor laser used in the optical transmitter. Industrial standard bodies for optical communication project requirements of single-channel data rates as high as 100 Gbit/s around year 2020. This is a significant step with respect to today's technology which is only at the verge of introducing 25 Gbit/s emitters. The preferred light source for these applications is the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) which can offer cost- and power-efficient directly modulated operation. However, it has proven extremely difficult to push the modulation bandwidth of VCSELs beyond 30 GHz and radically new device concepts are demanded to meet the upcoming needs. One such new device paradigm consists of the transistor laser which is the fusion of a semiconductor laser and a high-speed heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) into a single device, with potential significant advantages in modulation bandwidth, noise properties and novel functionality by virtue of the three-terminal configuration. The present thesis deals with the design, fabrication and analysis of vertical-cavity surface-emitting transistor-lasers (T-VCSELs), a device previously not realized or investigated in great detail.
GaAs-based T-VCSELs are investigated both theoretically and experimentally. A three-dimensional model is set up with a commercial software package and used for performance predictions and analysis as well as design and optimization purposes. It is concluded that a T-VCSEL biased in the common-base configuration may have a bandwidth surpassing those of conventional diode-type VCSELs or a T-VCSEL itself in the common-emitter configuration. Fabricated T-VCSELs make use of an epitaxial regrowth design to homogeneously integrate an AlGaAs/GaAs HBT and an InGaAs/GaAs VCSEL. An intracavity contacting scheme involving all three terminals, undoped distributed Bragg reflectors and modulation doping are used to ensure a low-loss laser structure. The first generation of devices showed sub-mA range base threshold current in combination with a high output power close to 2 mW but did not fulfill the requirements for a fully operational transistor laser since the transistor went into saturation before the onset of lasing (IBsat<IBth). From numerical simulations this premature saturation was demonstrated being due to a lateral potential variation within the device and large voltage drops along the base and collector regions. As a remedy to this problem the base region was redesigned for a reduced resistance and transistor current gain, and the saturation current could thereby be extended well beyond threshold. These devices showed excellent transistor-laser characteristics with clear gain-compression at threshold, mA-range base threshold current, mW-range output power, high-temperature operation to at least 60°C, low collector-emitter offset voltage and record-low power dissipation during lasing. Furthermore, the collector-current breakdown characteristics was investigated in some detail and it is concluded that this, in contrast to previous models, presumably not is due to an intracavity photon reabsorption process but rather to a quantum-well band-filling effect.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , vii, 64 p.
TRITA-ICT/MAP AVH, ISSN 1653-7610 ; 2014:16
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject Electrical Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-156841ISBN: 978-91-7595-363-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-156841DiVA: diva2:768029
2014-12-19, Sal/hall C, Electrum, KTH-ICT, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Almuneau, Guihem, Professor
Hammar, Mattias, Professor
QC 201412032014-12-032014-12-022015-04-13Bibliographically approved
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