Design and epitaxial growth of vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) emitting at ultraviolet wavelength
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One of the key advances in photonic technology in recent decades was the development of a new type of diode lasers emitting in the visible and infrared region. These vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) emerged from a laboratory curiosity in 1977  to an object of industrial mass production  and are currently used in many applications. The applications include communication, printing, and absorption spectroscopy . Their rise in credibility has largely been motivated by the rapid evolution of their performance, the more sweeping recognition of their compatibility with low-cost wafer-scale fabrication, and their possible formation into specific arrays with no change in the fabrication procedure. Various applications such as advanced chemical sensors and high-density optical storage require coherent and small-size ultraviolet-emitting devices (below 400nm). Therefore, to extend the VCSEL emission to the ultraviolet (UV) region, intensive efforts have been made in the VCSEL technology. However, the achievement of such UV VCSEL is very challenging because of the various limitations and issues. The issues noticeably include the carrier injection, optical confinement, and highly reflective distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR) structures with a broad bandwidth operating in the UV region . In this context, motivated by the reported large refractive index induced by boron incorporation , we propose to introduce the boron-based material systems (BAlGaN) as an innovative solution to address some of the encountered difficulties. The objective of the proposed research is to investigate and optimize new wide-bandgap BAlGaN material systems and illustrate their incorporation into the building blocks of vertical cavity surface-emitting laser structures for operation in the UV spectral range (<400nm). Toward this goal, we have focused our research activities in three main directions. The first direction is devoted to the simulation of DBRs reflectivity by taking into consideration the experimental refractive indexes. Once the materials needed in the different components of the VCSEL are well defined, the second direction lies in the achievement of growth conditions optimization and characterization of the new wide-bandgap BAlGaN material systems. The study has led to the structural and morphological quality improvement of (B,Al,Ga)N materials. Unique optical properties of the BGaN and BAlN materials were also demonstrated. Upon demonstrating the materials' promising optical characteristics, the final direction consists of the epitaxial growth and characterization of the highly reflective DBRs and active region of the UV VCSEL structure.