Quantum dots based superluminescent diodes and photonic crystal surface emitting lasers

Abstract

This thesis reports the design, fabrication, and electrical and optical characterisations of GaAs-based quantum dot (QD) photonic devices, specifically focusing on superluminescent diodes (SLDs) and photonic crystal surface-emitting lasers (PCSELs). The integration of QD active regions in these devices is advantageous due to their characteristics such as temperature insensitivity, feedback insensitivity, and ability to utilise the ground state (GS) and excited state (ES) of the dots. In an initial study concerning the fabrication of QD-SLDs, the influence of ridge waveguide etch depth on the electrical and optical properties of the devices are investigated. It is shown that the output power and modal gain from shallow etched ridge waveguide is higher than those of deep etched waveguides. Subsequently, the thermal performance of the devices is analysed. With increased temperature over 170 ºC, the spectral bandwidth is dramatically increased by thermally excited carrier transition in excited states of the dots. Following this, an investigation of a high dot density hybrid quantum well/ quantum dot (QW/QD) active structure for broadband, high-modal gain SLDs is presented. The influence of the number of QD layers on the modal gain of hybrid QW/QD structures is analysed. It is shown that higher number of dot layer provides higher modal gain value, however, there is lack of emission from QW due to the requirement of large number of carriers to saturate the QD. Additionally, a comparison is made between “unchirped QD” and “ chirped QD” of hybrid QW/QD structure in terms of modal gain and spectral bandwidth. It is showed that “chirped” of the QD can improve the “flatness” of the spectral bandwidth. Lastly, the use of self-assembled InAs QD as the active material in epitaxially regrown GaAs-based PCSELs is explored for the first time. Initially, it is shown that both GS and ES lasing can be achieved for QD-PCSELs by changing the grating period of the photonic crystal (PC). The careful design of these grating periods allows lasing from neighbouring devices at GS ( ~1230 nm) and ES (~1140 nm), 90 nm apart in wavelength. Following this, the effect of device area, PC etch depth, PC atom shape (circle or triangle or orientation) on lasing performance is presented. It is shown that lower threshold current density and higher slope efficiencies is achieved with increasing the device size. The deeper PC height device has higher output power due to more suitable height and minimal distance to active region. The triangular atom shape has slightly higher slope efficiency compared to triangular atom shape which is attributed to breaking in-plane symmetry and increase out-of-plane emission

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