Photonic crystals as functional mirrors for semiconductor lasers
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In recent years, interest has grown in the research fields of semiconductor lasers and photonic crystals. This thesis looks at integrating photonic crystals into existing semiconductor laser technology to act as functional laser mirrors. The majority of the research is conducted on a quantum-dot material system. The surface recombination velocity of a GaAs based quantum-dot material is shown to be a similar value to InP material. This allows the creation of fine photonic crystal structures in the laser design without high threshold current penalties. The spectral reflection properties of a one dimensional photonic crystal is studied and found to be an unsuitable candidate for a stand-alone laser mirror, due to its low reflectivity. A two-dimensional photonic crystal W3 defect waveguide is successfully integrated as a quantum-dot laser mirror. Single fundamental mode output is achieved with a typically multi-mode 20 μm wide laser mesa, highlighting the mode selective property of the mirror. A similar two-dimensional mirror is studied for its potential as a dispersion compensating mirror for mode-locked lasers. Initial theoretical analysis shows pulse compression for a suitably designed mirror. Experimental continuous- wave results for the same mirror structure demonstrate the tuning of mirror reflectivity with photonic crystal hole radius. A hybrid silicon-organic photonic crystal laser is demonstrated with output in the visible spectrum. This design is a new type of silicon emitter.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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