Electrically injected photonic-crystal nanocavities
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Nano-emitters are the new generation of laser devices. A photonic-crystal cavity, which highly confines light in small volumes, in combination with quantum-dots can enhance the efficiency and lower the threshold of this device. The practical realisation of a reliable, electrically pumped photonic-crystal laser at room-temperature is, however, challenging. In this project, a design for such a laser was established. Its properties are split up into electrical, optical and thermal tasks that are individually investigated via various device simulations. The resulting device performance showed that with our design the quantum-dots can be pumped in order to provide gain and to overcome the loss of the system. Threshold currents can be as low as 10’s of μA and Q-factors in the range of 1000’s. Gallium arsenide wafers were grown according to our specifications and their diode behaviour confirmed. Photonic-crystal cavities were fabricated through a newly developed process based on a TiOₓ hard-mask. Beside membraned cavities, also cavities on oxidised AlGaAs were fabricated with help to a unique hard-mask removal method. The cavities were measured with a self-made micro-photoluminescence setup with the highest Q-factor of 4000 for the membrane cavity and a remarkable 2200 for the oxide cavity. The fabrication steps, regarding the electrically pumped photonic-crystal laser, were developed and it was shown that this device can be fabricated. During this project, a novel type of gentle confinement cavity was developed, based on the adaption of the dispersion curve (DA cavity) of a photonic-crystal waveguide. Q-factors of as high as 600.000 were measured for these cavities made in Silicon.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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