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Proceedings Paper

Failure mode analysis of degraded InGaAs-AlGaAs strained quantum well multi-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers
Author(s): Yongkun Sin; Zachary Lingley; Miles Brodie; Michael Huang; Adam Bushmaker; Jesse Theiss; Nathan Presser; Brendan Foran; Steven C. Moss
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Paper Abstract

Remarkable progress made in vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) emitting at 850 and 980 nm has led them to find an increasing number of applications in high speed data communications as well as in potential space satellite systems. However, little has been reported on reliability and failure modes of InGaAs VCSELs emitting at ~980 nm although it is crucial to understand failure modes and underlying degradation mechanisms in developing these VCSELs that exceed lifetime requirements for space missions. The active layer of commercial VCSELs that we studied consisted of two or three InGaAs quantum wells. The laser structures were fabricated into deep mesas followed by a steam oxidation process to form oxide-apertures for current and optical confinements. Our multi- mode VCSELs showed a laser threshold of ~ 0.5 mA at RT. Failures were generated via accelerated life-testing of VCSELs. For the present study, we report on failure mode analysis of degraded oxide-VCSELs using various techniques. We employed nondestructive techniques including electroluminescence (EL), optical beam induced current (OBIC), and electron beam induced current (EBIC) techniques as well as destructive techniques including focused ion beam (FIB) and high-resolution TEM techniques to study VCSELs that showed different degradation behaviors. Especially, we employed FIB systems to locally remove a portion of top-DBR mirrors of degraded VCSELs, which made it possible for our subsequent EBIC and OBIC techniques to locate damaged areas that were generated as a result of degradation processes and also for our HR-TEM technique to prepare TEM cross sections from damaged areas. Our nondestructive and destructive physical analysis results are reported including defect and structural analysis results from pre-aged VCSELs as well as from degraded VCSELs life-tested under different test conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2016
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9766, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XX, 97660F (4 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2208799
Show Author Affiliations
Yongkun Sin, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Zachary Lingley, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Miles Brodie, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Michael Huang, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Adam Bushmaker, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Jesse Theiss, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Nathan Presser, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Brendan Foran, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Steven C. Moss, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9766:
Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XX
Kent D. Choquette; James K. Guenter, Editor(s)

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