Semiconductor nonlinear waveguide devices and integrated-mirror etalons.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation investigates different III-V semiconductor devices for applications in nonlinear photonics. These include passive and active nonlinear directional couplers, current-controlled optical phase shifter, and integrated-mirror etalons. A novel method to find the propagation constants of an optical waveguide is introduced. The same method is applied, with minor modifications, to find the coupling length of a directional coupler. The method presented provides a tool for the design of optical waveguide devices. The design, fabrication, and performance of a nonlinear directional coupler are presented. This device uses light intensity to control the direction of light coming out. This is achieved through photo-generated-carriers mechanism in the picosecond regime and through the optical Stark effect in the femtosecond regime. A two-transverse-dimensions beam-propagation computation is used to model the switching behavior in the nonlinear directional coupler. It is found that, by considering the pulse degradation effect, the computation agrees well with experiments. The possibility of operating a nonlinear directional coupler with gain is investigated. It is concluded that by injecting current into the nonlinear directional coupler does not provide the advantages hoped for and the modelling using 2-D beam-propagation methods verifies that. Using current injection to change the refractive index of a waveguide, an optical phase shifter is constructed. This device has the merit of delivering large phase shift with almost no intensity modulation. A phase shift as large as 3π is produced in a waveguide 400 μm in length. Finally, a new structure, grown by the molecular beam epitaxy machine, is described. The structure consists of two quarter-wave stacks and a spacer layer to form an integrated-mirror etalon. The theory, design principles, spectral analyses are discussed with design examples to clarify the ideas. Emphasis is given to the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser constructed from this structure. Here we demonstrated the cw operation of the VCSEL at room temperature.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences