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Proceedings Paper

Optical physics of VCSEL tapered oxide apertures
Author(s): Michael J. Noble; Paul Sotirelis; James A. Lott; John P. Loehr
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Paper Abstract

We present a theoretical analysis of the optical physics of tapered oxide apertures in long- and short-cavity VCSELs. We apply our quasi-exact vector finite element model to a USC (long cavity) and U. Texas (short cavity) VCSEL to compute the electric field distribution, transverse confinement factor, diffraction rate, and threshold gain of the fundamental lasing mode. Making qualitative reference to the Hegblom, et al model, we analyze our results to deduce the fundamental physical effects of the tapered oxide aperture. We find that tapered oxides reduce diffraction loss through two separate physical phenomena: (1) a reduction in transverse confinement yielding a flatter phase front, and (2) an effective lens which acts to refocus the naturally diffracting wave front. We further find that in most VCSELs an inherent trade-off exists between minimizing the diffraction loss and maximizing the optical mode-to-gain interaction. To achieve the ultimate goal of (near) thresholdless lasing, this trade-off must be overcome: diffraction loss must be eliminated while simultaneously minimizing the mode volume. We conclude with a suggestion for a novel cavity design, which in theory achieves this goal.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3944, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices VIII, (14 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.391427
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. Noble, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Paul Sotirelis, Air Force Aeronautical Systems Ctr. (United States)
James A. Lott, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
John P. Loehr, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3944:
Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices VIII
Rolf H. Binder; Peter Blood; Marek Osinski, Editor(s)

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