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Proceedings Paper

Catastrophic optical bulk damage (COBD) in high power multi-mode InGaAs-AlGaAs strained quantum well lasers
Author(s): Yongkun Sin; Neil Ives; Stephen LaLumondiere; Nathan Presser; Steven C. Moss
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Paper Abstract

State-of-the-art broad-area InGaAs-AlGaAs strained quantum well (QW) lasers show an optical output power of over 20 W and a power conversion efficiency of over 70% under CW operation. Unlike broad-area (Al)GaAs QW lasers, broad-area InGaAs strained QW lasers show two failure types including facet catastrophic optical damage (COD) and bulk failure. Optimization of facet passivation processes has led to significant reduction in occurrence of facet COD (or COMD), but bulk failure (or COBD) has received little attention although it is crucial to understand degradation processes responsible for COBD and then develop COBD-free lasers for high reliability applications including potential satellite systems. Our group recently proposed a model for the COBD process and this paper further investigates the root causes of COBD in the broad-area lasers. We performed accelerated life-tests of MOCVD-grown broad-area strained InGaAs-AlGaAs single QW lasers at ~975 nm, which predominantly yielded catastrophic bulk failures. We employed various non-destructive techniques to study pre- and post-stressed lasers. Time resolved electroluminescence (TR-EL) was employed to observe formation and progression of dark spots and dark lines through windowed n-contacts during entire life-tests that eventually led to COBD. Deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) was employed to investigate trap characteristics in degraded devices at different stages of degradation to study the role that non-radiative recombination centers (NRCs) play in COBD processes. Time resolved photoluminescence (TR-PL) was employed to measure carrier lifetimes from both undamaged and damaged active areas to find correlation between dark line defects in degraded lasers and non-radiative recombination processes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7918, High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications IX, 791803 (10 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.873936
Show Author Affiliations
Yongkun Sin, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Neil Ives, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Stephen LaLumondiere, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Nathan Presser, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Steven C. Moss, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7918:
High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications IX
Mark S. Zediker, Editor(s)

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