Long-wavelength (λ ≈ 8-11.5 μm) semiconductor lasers with waveguides based on surface plasmons

Carlo Sirtori, Claire Gmachl, Federico Capasso, Jérôme Faist, Deborah L. Sivco, Albert L. Hutchinson, Alfred Y. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Laser waveguides based on surface plasmons at a metal-semiconductor interface have been demonstrated by use of quantum cascade (QC) lasers emitting in the 8-11.5-μm wavelength range. The guided modes are transverse magnetic polarized surface waves that propagate at the metal (Pd or Ti-Au)-semiconductor interface between the laser top contact and the active region without the necessity for waveguide cladding layers. The resultant structure has the advantages of a strong decrease in the total layer thickness and a higher confinement factor of the laser-active region compared with those of a conventional layered semiconductor waveguide, and strong coupling to the active material, which could be used in devices such :, as distributed-feedback lasers. These advantages have to be traded against the disadvantage of increased absorption losses. A peak output power exceeding 25 mW at 90 K and a maximum operating temperature of 150 K were measured for a QC laser with an emission wavelength λ ≈ 8 μm. At λ ≈ 11.5 μm the peak power levels are several milliwatts and the maximum operating temperature is 110 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1366-1368
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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