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Proceedings Paper

Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers: present and future
Author(s): Robert A. Morgan
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Paper Abstract

This manuscript reviews the present status of 'commercial- grade,' state-of-the-art planar, batch-fabricable, vertical- cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). Commercial-grade performance on all fronts for high-speed data communications is clearly established. In discussing the 'present,' we focus on the entrenched proton-implanted AlGaAs-based (emitting near 850 nm) technology. Renditions of this VCSEL design exist in commercial products and have enabled numerous application demonstrations. Our designs more than adequately meet producibility, performance, and robustness stipulations. Producibility milestones include greater than 99% device yield across 3-in-dia metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE)-grown wafers and wavelength operation across greater than 100-nm range. Progress in performance includes the elimination of the excessive voltage-drop that plagued VCSELs as recently as 2 to 3 years ago. Threshold voltages as low as Vth equals 1.53 V (and routinely less than 1.6 V) are now commonplace. Submilliamp threshold currents (Ith equals 0.68 mA) have even been demonstrated with this planar structure. Moreover, continuous wave (cw) power Pcw greater than 59 mW and respectable wall-plug efficiencies ((eta) wp equals 28%) have been demonstrated. VCSEL robustness is evidenced by maximum cw lasing temperature T equals 200 degrees Celsius and temperature ranges of 10 K to 400 K and minus 55 degrees Celsius to 155 degrees Celsius on a single VCSEL. These characteristics should enable great advances in VCSEL-based technologies and beckon the notion that 'commercial-grade' VCSELs are viable in cryogenic and avionics/military environments. We also discuss what the future may hold in extensions of this platform to different wavelengths, increased integration, and advanced structures. This includes low-threshold, high- speed, single-mode VCSELs, hybrid VCSEL transceivers, and self-pulsating VCSELs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 1997
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 3003, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers, (4 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.271061
Show Author Affiliations
Robert A. Morgan, Honeywell Technology Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3003:
Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers
Kent D. Choquette; Dennis G. Deppe, Editor(s)

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