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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 22 — Oct. 29, 2007
  • pp: 14861–14869

Demonstration of air-guided quantum cascade lasers without top claddings

V. Moreau, M. Bahriz, R. Colombelli, R. Perahia, O. Painter, L. R. WIlson, and A. B. Krysa  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 22, pp. 14861-14869 (2007)

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We report on quantum cascade lasers employing waveguides based on a predominant air confinement mechanism in which the active region is located immediately at the device top surface. The lasers employ ridge-waveguide resonators with narrow lateral electrical contacts only, with a large, central top region not covered by metallization layers. Devices based on this principle have been reported in the past; however, they employed a thick, doped top-cladding layer in order to allow for uniform current injection. We find that the in-plane conductivity of the active region - when the material used is of high quality - provides adequate electrical injection. As a consequence, the devices demonstrated in this work are thinner, and most importantly they can simultaneously support air-guided and surface-plasmon waveguide modes. When the lateral contacts are narrow, the optical mode is mostly located below the air-semiconductor interface. The mode is predominantly air-guided and it leaks from the top surface into the surrounding environment, suggesting that these lasers could be employed for surface-sensing applications. These laser modes are found to operate up to room temperature under pulsed injection, with an emission spectrum centered around λ ≈ 7:66 μm.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(140.3410) Lasers and laser optics : Laser resonators
(140.5960) Lasers and laser optics : Semiconductor lasers

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: July 10, 2007
Revised Manuscript: August 21, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: August 21, 2007
Published: October 26, 2007

V. Moreau, M. Bahriz, R. Colombelli, R. Perahia, O. Painter, L. R. Wilson, and A. B. Krysa, "Demonstration of air-guided quantum cascade lasers without top claddings," Opt. Express 15, 14861-14869 (2007)

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