"High-Efficiency Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers"
Dr. Kevin L. Lear
Sandia National Laboratories, USA
IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer, May 13, 1997 at NRC in Ottawa
The unique geometry of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)
diodes engenders manufacturing and operational advantages, but it also
poses challenges. Small active volumes necessitate multilayer mirrors
and lateral index structures to achieve small optical losses. Electrical
losses due to high series resistance also hampered early VCSEL diodes.
This lecture highlights engineering considerations for reducing the
combined optical and electrical losses in these devices that have led to
highly efficient (>50%) operation. The efficiency improvement and
associated developments are discussed in the context of the more general
outlook for VCSELs and the push towards practical significance.
Kevin Lear received his BSEE degree (1984) from the University of
Colorado and MSEE (1985) and PhDEE (1990) degrees from Stanford
University where he was an Office of Naval Research Fellow and his
thesis topic was resonant tunneling diodes. He joined Sandia National
Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a Senior member of Technical
Staff in 1990. His primary research area at Sandia has been compound
semiconductor optoelectronics with an emphasis on enhancing the
performance of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). This
has included work on integrating transistors and VCSELs for smart
pixels, coherent laser arrays, VCSEL based optical interconnects, mirror
grading designs and fabrication for improved electrical characteristics,
the use of oxides for improved optical characteristics, and most
recently investigating the high speed operation of VCSELs.
Sandia National Laboratories
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(Created: June 5, 1997)
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