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Proceedings Paper

Mid-IR interband cascade lasers operating at very low input powers
Author(s): C. S. Kim; M. Kim; C. L. Canedy; W. W. Bewley; C. D. Merritt; I. Vurgaftman; J. Abell; J. R. Meyer
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Paper Abstract

Our simulations find that the active quantum wells in previous mid-IR interband cascade laser (ICL) designs have invariably contained far more holes than electrons. Further modeling shows that the carrier populations can be rebalanced by heavily doping the electron injector regions to levels more than an order of magnitude higher than in any earlier devices. The experimental implementation of this strategy has dramatically improved nearly all ICL performance characteristics. For devices emitting at wavelengths in the 3.6-3.9 μm range, this includes pulsed room temperature (RT) threshold current density as low as 170 A/cm2, maximum cw operating temperature as high as 109 °C, RT cw output power as high as 159 mW, RT cw wallplug efficiency as high as 13.5%, and RT cw input power as low as 29 mW. We also demonstrate RT cw operation to wavelengths as long as 5.7 μm. The extremely low input power to reach threshold, which is more than 25 times lower than the best ever reported for a quantum cascade laser, will strongly impact battery lifetimes and other system requirements in fielded chemical sensing applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8277, Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XI, 82771D (8 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.914453
Show Author Affiliations
C. S. Kim, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
M. Kim, Sotera Defense Solutions (United States)
C. L. Canedy, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
W. W. Bewley, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
C. D. Merritt, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
I. Vurgaftman, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
J. Abell, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
J. R. Meyer, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8277:
Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XI
Alexey A. Belyanin; Peter M. Smowton, Editor(s)

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