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Proceedings Paper

Nanoscale materials characterization of degradation in VCSELs
Author(s): David T. Mathes; Robert Hull; Kent D. Choquette; Kent M. Geib; Andrew A. Allerman; James K. Guenter; Bobby Hawkins; Robert A. Hawthorne
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Paper Abstract

Significant advancements have been made in the characterization and understanding of the degradation behavior of the III-V semiconductor materials employed in Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) diodes. Briefly, for the first time a technique has been developed whereby it is possible to view the entire active region of a solid state laser in a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) using a novel Focussed Ion Beam (FIB) prepared plan-view sample geometry. This technique, in conjunction with TEM cross-section imaging has enabled a three-dimensional characterization of several of the degradation mechanisms that lead to laser failure. It is found that there may occur an initial drop in laser power output due to the development of cracks in the upper mirror layers. In later stages of degradation, dislocations are punched out at stress-concentrating sites (e.g. oxide aperture tips) and these dislocations can then extend over the active region in a manner consistent with recombination enhanced dislocation motion. Alternatively, complex three-dimensional dislocation arrays which exhibited dendritic-like growth and which cover the entire active region can nucleate on a single defect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 June 2003
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 4994, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers VII, (17 June 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.482858
Show Author Affiliations
David T. Mathes, Honeywell Inc. (United States)
Robert Hull, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Kent D. Choquette, Univ. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign (United States)
Kent M. Geib, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Andrew A. Allerman, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
James K. Guenter, Honeywell Inc. (United States)
Bobby Hawkins, Honeywell Inc. (United States)
Robert A. Hawthorne, Honeywell Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4994:
Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers VII
Chun Lei; Sean P. Kilcoyne, Editor(s)

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