Low-strain, quantum-cascade-laser active regions grown on metamorphic buffer layers for emission in the 3.0-4.0 μm wavelength region

Luke J. Mawst, Jeremy D. Kirch, Tae Wan Kim, Toby Garrod, Colin Boyle, Dan Botez, Brian Zutter, Kevin Schulte, Thomas F. Kuech, Pierre M. Bouzi, Claire F. Gmachl, Thomas Earles

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Abstract

We have investigated metamorphic buffer layers (MBLs), as so-called virtual substrates, for accessing a compositional range of InxGa1-xAs/AlyIn1-yAs superlattice (SL) materials which would otherwise be prohibited due to excessive strain when grown on conventional substrates. Such materials have application in the realisation of high-performance Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) of short emission wavelengths (i.e., ≤4.0 μm). Simulation studies suggest that significant enhancement of performance in terms of reduced device temperature sensitivity and reduced thermal resistance is possible over conventional InP-substrate devices by employing MBL-based QCL designs on a GaAs substrate. Furthermore, such devices would exhibit significantly lower strain compared to conventional QCLs on InP emitting within the 3.0-4.0 μm wavelength region. To improve the planarity of MBL top surfaces, we employ chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) prior to the growth of the QCL SL structures. 20-period InxGa1-xAs (wells)/AlyIn1-yAs (barriers) SLs are grown by metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE) on an InGaAs step-graded, hydride vapour phase epitaxy (HVPE)-grown MBL. Employing CMP on the top of the MBL, prior to the SL growth, results in significantly improved X-ray-diffraction SL fringes. Electroluminescent devices, incorporating a single stage of QCL-SL active-region material grown on an MBL subjected to CMP, demonstrate intersubband emission near 3.6 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalIET Optoelectronics
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    Mawst, L. J., Kirch, J. D., Kim, T. W., Garrod, T., Boyle, C., Botez, D., Zutter, B., Schulte, K., Kuech, T. F., Bouzi, P. M., Gmachl, C. F., & Earles, T. (2014). Low-strain, quantum-cascade-laser active regions grown on metamorphic buffer layers for emission in the 3.0-4.0 μm wavelength region. IET Optoelectronics, 8(2), 25-32. https://doi.org/10.1049/iet-opt.2013.0060