180 research outputs found

    Electron temperature and mechanisms of hot carrier generation in quantum cascade lasers

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    A technique for calculating the temperature of the nonequilibrium electron distribution functions in general quantum well intersubband devices is presented. Two recent GaAs/Ga(1–x)Al(x)As quantum cascade laser designs are considered as illustrative examples of the kinetic energy balance method. It is shown that at low current densities the electron temperature recovers the expected physical limit of the lattice temperature, and that it is also a function of current density and the quantised energy level structure of the device. The results of the calculations show that the electron temperature T(e) can be approximated as a linear function of the lattice temperature T(l) and current density J, of the form T(e) = T(l) + a(e–l)J, where a(e–l) is a coupling constant (~6–7 K/kA cm(–2) for the devices studied here) which is fixed for a particular device. © 2002 American Institute of Physics

    Aspects of the internal physics of InGaAs/InAlAs quantum cascade lasers

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    We report on the results of our simulations of an InGaAs/InAlAs midinfrared quantum cascade laser (QCL) designed to operate in continuous wave mode at room temperature [Beck et al., Science 295, 301 (2002)]. Our physical model of the device consists of a self-consistent solution of the subband population rate equations and accounts for all electron-longitudinal-optical phonon and electron-electron scattering rates, as well as an evaluation of the temperature of the nonequilibrium electron distribution. We also consider the role of the doping density and its influence on the electron dynamics. We found that the temperature of the nonequilibrium electron distribution differed significantly from the lattice temperature and that this temperature increased with applied electric field and current density, with coupling constants somewhat larger than analogous GaAs based midinfrared QCLs. Our simulations also reveal physical processes of the device that are not apparent from the experimental measurements, such as the role of electron-electron scattering. © 2006 American Institute of Physic

    Electron transport and terahertz gain in quantum-dot cascades

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    Electron transport through quantum-dot (QD) cascades was investigated using the formalism of nonequilibrium Green's functions within the self-consistent Born approximation. Polar coupling to optical phonons, deformation potential coupling to acoustic phonons, as well as anharmonic decay of longitudinal optical phonons were included in the simulation. A QD cascade laser structure comprising two QDs per period was designed and its characteristics were simulated. Significant values of population inversion enabling lasing in the terahertz frequency range were predicted, with operating current densities being more than an order of magnitude smaller than in existing terahertz quantum-well-based quantum-cascade lasers

    Thermal analysis of mid-infrared quantum-cascade lasers

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    We present a theoretical thermal analysis of mid-infrared quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) using a two-dimensional anisotropic heat diffusion model. Several InP-based devices are simulated over a range of operating conditions in order to extract temperature-dependent thermal resistances. These thermal resistances are used to compare the effectiveness of various heat management techniques. Finally, heat flow analysis is performed in order to understand the internal thermal dynamics of these devices

    Physical model of quantum-well infrared photodetectors

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    A fully quantum mechanical model for electron transport in quantum well infrared photodetectors is presented, based on a self-consistent solution of the coupled rate equations. The important macroscopic parameters like current density, responsivity and capture probability can be estimated directly from this first principles calculation. The applicability of the model was tested by comparison with experimental measurements from a GaAs/AlGaAs device, and good agreement was found. The model is general and can be applied to any other material system or QWIP design

    Self-consistent scattering model of carrier dynamics in GaAs-AlGaAs terahertz quantum-cascade lasers

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    Intersubband electron scattering transport in terahertz GaAs–AlGaAs quantum cascade lasers is analyzed, using a full 13-level self-consistent rate equation model. The approach includes all relevant scattering mechanisms between injector–collector and active region states in the cascade structures. Employing an energy balance equation which includes the influence of both electron longitudinal optical phonon and electron–electron scattering, the method also enables evaluation of the average electron temperature of the nonequilibrium carrier distributions in the device. The electron temperature is found to give a strong influence on the output characteristics, particularly at very low temperatures. The threshold currents and electric field-current density characteristics are in very good agreement with experiment, implying that the model has a strong predictive capability

    Optically pumped intersublevel midinfrared lasers based on InAs-GaAs quantum dots

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    We propose an optically pumped laser based on intersublevel transitions in InAs-GaAs pyramidal self-Assembled quantum dots. A theoretical rate equations model of the laser is given in order to predict the dependence of the gain on pumping flux and temperature. The energy levels and wave functions were calculated using the 8-band k . p method where the symmetry of the pyramid was exploited to reduce the computational complexity. Carrier dynamics in the laser were modeled by taking both electron-longitudinal optical phonon and electron-longitudinal acoustic phonon interactions into account. The proposed laser emits at 14.6 μm with a gain of g ≈ 570 cm(-1) at the pumping flux Φ= 10(24) cm(-2) s(-1) and a temperature of T = 77 K. By varying the size of the investigated dots, laser emission in the spectral range 13-21 μm is predicted. In comparison to optically pumped lasers based on quantum wells, an advantage of the proposed type of laser is a lower pumping flux, due to the longer carrier lifetime in quantum dots, and also that both surface and edge emission are possible. The appropriate waveguide and cavity designs are presented, and by comparing the calculated values of the gain with the estimated losses, lasing is predicted even at room temperature for all the quantum dots investigated

    Investigation of thermal effects in quantum-cascade lasers

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    The development of a thermal model for quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) is presented. The model is used in conjunction with a self-consistent scattering rate calculation of the electron dynamics of an InGaAs-AlAsSb QCL to calculate the temperature distribution throughout the device which can be a limiting factor for high temperature operation. The model is used to investigate the effects of various driving conditions and device geometries, such as epilayer down bonding and buried heterostructures, on the active region temperature. It is found that buried heterostructures have a factor of eight decrease in thermal time constants compared to standard ridge waveguide structures in pulsed mode and allow a /spl sim/78% increase in heat sink temperature compared to epilayer down mounted devices in continuous-wave mode. The model presented provides a valuable tool for understanding the thermal dynamics inside a quantum cascade laser and will help to improve their operating temperatures

    Optically pumped terahertz laser based on intersubband transitions in a GaN/AlGaN double quantum well

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    A design for a GaN/AlGaN optically pumped terahertz laser emitting at 34 µm (ΔE~36 meV) is presented. This laser uses a simple three-level scheme where the depopulation of the lower laser level is achieved via resonant longitudinal-optical-phonon emission. The quasibound energies and associated wave functions are calculated with the intrinsic electric field induced by the piezoelectric and the spontaneous polarizations. The structures based on a double quantum well were simulated and the output characteristics extracted using a fully self-consistent rate equation model with all relevant scattering processes included. Both electron-longitudinal-optical phonon and electron-acoustic-phonon interactions were taken into account. The carrier distribution in subbands was assumed to be Fermi–Dirac-like, with electron temperature equal to the lattice temperature, but with different Fermi levels for each subband. A population inversion of 12% for a pumping flux Φ=10(27) cm(–2) s(–1) at room temperature was calculated for the optimized structure. By comparing the calculated modal gain and estimated waveguide and mirror losses the feasibility of laser action up to room temperature is predicted

    Dilute magnetic semiconductor quantum-well structures for magnetic field tunable far-infrared/terahertz absorption

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    The design of ZnCdSe–ZnMnSe-based quantum wells is considered, in order to obtain a large shift of the peak absorption wavelength in the far infrared range, due to a giant Zeeman splitting with magnetic field, while maintaining a reasonably large value of peak absorption. A triple quantum-well structure with a suitable choice of parameters has been found to satisfy such requirements. A maximal tuning range between 14.6 and 34.7 meV is obtained, when the magnetic field varies from zero to 5 T, so the wavelength of the absorbed radiation decreases from 85.2 to 35.7 μm with absorption up to 1.25% at low temperatures. These structures might form the basis for magnetic field tunable photodetectors and quantum cascade lasers in the terahertz range
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