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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of VCSEL degradation modes
Author(s): Robert W. Herrick; Michael Y. Cheng; James M. Beck; Pierre M. Petroff; Jeff W. Scott; Matthew G. Peters; Gerald D. Robinson; Larry A. Coldren; Robert A. Morgan; Mary K. Hibbs-Brenner
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Paper Abstract

VCSELs have recently made a great deal of progress both in improved performance with threshold currents now < 100 (mu) A, as well as in their commercialization. Parallel communication links based on VCSEL arrays are now commercially available. However, little information has been published to date on VCSEL reliability or on what causes VCSEL failures. In this presentation, we will describe the VCSEL degradation processes observed in the wide variety of structures we have tested. These include GaAs- and InGaAs-QW VCSELs; top- and bottom-emitting structures; and proton-implanted and etched-pillar VCSELs. We will discuss the novel observation that in most VCSELs we have examined, defects in the upper mirror (a p-type Distributed Bragg Reflector) can be associated with VCSEL degradation. Laser spectra show a luminescence peak from these mirrors, indicating the presence of minority carriers in the low-bandgap layers of the mirrors. These minority carriers are thought to be at the origin of the defect formation in the p-mirrors. We will discuss the possible sources of this minority carrier injection, and present spectra which shed light on the cause of this phenomenon. We will also discuss how fabrication and packaging stresses for some structures significantly accelerate the degradation process. The failure modes observed for various designs will be shown, and possible design improvements suggested.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 1996
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2683, Fabrication, Testing, and Reliability of Semiconductor Lasers, (10 April 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.237683
Show Author Affiliations
Robert W. Herrick, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Michael Y. Cheng, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
James M. Beck, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Pierre M. Petroff, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Jeff W. Scott, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Matthew G. Peters, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Gerald D. Robinson, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Larry A. Coldren, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Robert A. Morgan, Honeywell Technology Ctr. (United States)
Mary K. Hibbs-Brenner, Honeywell Technology Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2683:
Fabrication, Testing, and Reliability of Semiconductor Lasers
Mahmoud Fallahi; S. C. Wang, Editor(s)

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