Focusing, wavelength tuning, beam steering and beam shaping of circular grating surface emitting distributed Bragg reflector lasers
AuthorPenner, Robert Scott
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOver the past decade, circular grating surface emitting DBR lasers (CGSELs) have progressed from theory to reality. These devices possess several properties that make them attractive options for such applications as optical interconnects and laser arrays. These advantages include low divergence angles, circular beam profiles, and high power output. In this dissertation, the addition of new functionality to these lasers including wavelength tunability, focusing, beam steering and beam shaping is investigated. The theory governing device operation is presented. Pertinent discussions include the coupled mode equations, grating coupling, focusing and changes to the effective index of refraction resulting from current injection through a transparent electrode on the grating. The development and refinement of the device fabrication process is detailed. Key milestones in the grating writing process included achieving first order gratings (Λ = 0.15 μm), creating chirped period gratings for focusing and optimizing the linewidth and uniformity of the grating for high power devices. Of equal importance in obtaining high efficiency devices was the reactive ion etch process. Two different etch recipes were developed: one for mesa-definition and a shallower grating-defining etch. Significant evaluation of the electrical and optical properties of the transparent electrode, Indium Tin Oxide, was performed. Incorporating ITO into the fabrication process required optimization of deposition, patterning, etching and annealing. Device performance, efficiency and functionality improved with each generation. Consequentially, over 225 mW of output power for a injection current of 600 mA, or a slope efficiency of 0.43 mW/mA, was produced by the final generation of high power CGSELs. Focusing was demonstrated by the creation of individual devices with different focal lengths. Coarse mode selection was obtained by removing radial segments of the circular grating thereby eliminating both feedback coupling and surface outcoupling. Dynamic functionality such as beam steering and wavelength tuning was also realized for devices with ITO. Over 1° of beam steering was achieved for an ITO injection current of 35 mA. Similarly, over 1 nm of tuning, or 0.5 nm of continuous tuning, was accomplished. In conclusion, possibilities for improvements in device performance and future work are suggested.
Degree ProgramGraduate College