Ga0.35In0.65 N0.02As0.08/GaAs bidirectional light-emitting and light-absorbing heterojunction operating at 1.3 μm
© Chaqmaqchee and Balkan; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 17 September 2013
Accepted: 3 January 2014
Published: 17 January 2014
The Top-Hat hot electron light emission and lasing in semiconductor heterostructure (HELLISH)-vertical-cavity semiconductor optical amplifier (THH-VCSOA) is a bidirectional light-emitting and light-absorbing heterojunction device.
The device contains 11 Ga0.35In0.65 N0.02As0.08/GaAs MQWs in its intrinsic active region which is enclosed between six pairs of AlAs/GaAs top distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) and 20.5 pairs of AlAs/GaAs bottom DBR mirrors. The THH-VCSOA is fabricated using a four-contact configuration. The wavelength conversion with amplification is achieved by the appropriate biasing of the absorption and emission regions within the device. Absorption and emission regions may be reversed by changing the polarity of the applied voltage. Emission wavelength is about 1,300 nm and a maximum gain at this wavelength is around 5 dB at T = 300 K.
KeywordsTHH-VCSOA Bidirectional GaInNAs Amplification
Vertical-cavity semiconductor optical amplifiers (VCSOAs) at 1.3 μm are key photonic components in optical communication systems [1–4]. Dilute nitride III-V alloy semiconductors and in particular GaInNAs/GaAs quantum well (QW)-based VCSOAs were originally proposed as replacements for GaInAsP/InP QWs due to its reduced temperature sensitivity and inherent polarization insensitivity [5, 6]. In addition, their growth on GaAs and their integrability with GaAs/Al(Ga)As distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) allowed them to be considered as the active region in 1.3-μm vertical-cavity devices. In this article, a novel VCSOA based on the hot electron light emission and lasing in semiconductor heterostructure (HELLISH) as an alternative to conventional VCSOAs is investigated . Spontaneous emission of ultra bright HELLISH has been previously reported and demonstrated by us [8, 9]. The simple bar HELLISH-VCSOA  and Top-Hat HELLISH-VCSOA  structures with GaInNAs/GaAs quantum wells in the active region are designed to operate in the 1.3-μm wavelength region.
In this work, we demonstrate for the first time, optical amplification at wavelength λ ≈ 1.3 μm in electrically pumped THH-VCSOA devices. We measured the photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL). By combining the two measurements, we obtained the electrophotoluminescence (EPL) signal from which the light amplification is obtained. At a temperature of T = 300 K, maximum gains were achieved when voltages of 40, 60, and 80 V were applied.
When the device is biased with (+V), as shown in Figure 1b, the potential near contact 2 (I2) is higher in the p-channel than in the n-channel (Vp > Vn). This forward-biased region operates as a light emitter. In contrast, near contact 3 (I3), Vp < Vn and this region is effectively reverse biased, which forms the absorption section. Thus, the device can absorb light with photon energies of hv 0 , where hv 0 > E g and emit light with photon energies of hv 1 ~ E g . The polarity of the applied bias can be interchanged leading to the reversing of the absorption and emission regions.
The emitted light from the sample surface was collected and dispersed using a cooled photo multiplier and monochromator assembly. The output signal was filtered using an EG&G 162 boxcar averager with gated integrator. An Argon laser of wavelength λ = 488 nm, using variable powers, is used as the light source in the absorption experiments. External bias was applied in a pulsed mode between contacts 1 and 4, and 2 and 3 of the top-hat-shaped device. The device resistance depends on the device dimensions and can be as high as 1.0 KΩ in devices with long channel lengths. The applied voltage pulses were 50-μs wide with a repetition time of 10 ms defining a duty cycle of 5 × 103.
Results and discussion
The operation of bidirectional THH-VCSOA-based Ga0.35In0.65 N0.02As0.08 at a wavelength of 1,280 nm has been demonstrated. Maximum optical gain of about 5 dB is observed at Vapp = 80 V and at T = 300 K. Therefore, we conclude that the THH-VCSOA device is a bidirectional field-effect light-emitting and light-absorbing heterojunction and can work as an optical amplifier and wavelength converter in the 1.3-μm wavelength regime. The performance of the device can be improved by reducing the dimensions of the device, so that high electrical fields can be reached by the application of small voltages.
distributed Bragg reflectors
hot electron light-emitting and lasing in semiconductor heterostructure
molecular beam epitaxy
vertical-cavity semiconductor optical amplifier.
FAI Chaqmaqchee is grateful to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of IRAQ for their financial support during her study at the University of Essex. We are grateful to the Institute for Systems Based on Optoelectronics and Microtechnology in Madrid for their assistance with the device fabrication. The authors are also grateful to Professor Mark Hopkinson and Dr. Maxim Hughes for growing the structures. Finally, we would like to thank the COST Action MP0805 for the collaborative research.
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