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Proceedings Paper

EBIC and TEM analysis of catastrophic optical damage in high-power GaAlAs/GaInAs lasers
Author(s): Robert E. Mallard; Rick D. Clayton
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Paper Abstract

We have performed a structural study of GaAlAs/GaInAs lasers, designed to emit at 980 nm, ass they undergo catastrophic optical damage (COD) during L-I testing. Electron beam induced current analysis shows that COD is characterized by the introduction of high densities of extended defects along the cavity of the laser, in the vicinity of the output facet of the device. Having determined the approximate location of the induced defects, we have employed precision transmission electron microscope specimen fabricating techniques to study the structure of the defects in detail. Dislocation loops ranging from < 10 nm to > 100 nm in diameter are observed in the modal region of the degraded lasers. The heterostructure comprising the active region of the device is interdiffused in regions of the highest defect density, and in some regions, melting of the laser cavity is observed. A `fast capture' laser degradation analysis technique has been developed, which allows us to examine the infant stages of COD failure. These experiments clearly demonstrate that the COD damage initiates exactly at the laser facet, and propagates back along the cavity with continued device stressing. The highest output power level which can be attained is limited by the thermal characteristics of the device. Higher power levels can be attained under pulsed operation, through which `thermal rollover' conditions are avoided. COD failure under pulsed operation results in a dramatically altered defect distribution consisting of periodic arrays of dislocation tangles along the laser cavity. The periodicity of these defective `packets' is related to the magnitude of the drive current pulse at the time of failure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3004, Fabrication, Testing, and Reliability of Semiconductor Lasers II, (1 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273827
Show Author Affiliations
Robert E. Mallard, Nortel Technology (Canada)
Rick D. Clayton, Nortel Technology (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3004:
Fabrication, Testing, and Reliability of Semiconductor Lasers II
Mahmoud Fallahi; S. C. Wang, Editor(s)

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