GaAs based Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Transistor-Lasers

Sammanfattning: The ever-increasing demand for broadband capacity of the global optical communication networks puts enormous requirements on the semiconductor laser used in the optical transmitter. Industrial standard bodies for optical communication project requirements of single-channel data rates as high as 100 Gbit/s around year 2020. This is a significant step with respect to today's technology which is only at the verge of introducing 25 Gbit/s emitters. The preferred light source for these applications is the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) which can offer cost- and power-efficient directly modulated operation. However, it has proven extremely difficult to push the modulation bandwidth of VCSELs beyond 30 GHz and radically new device concepts are demanded to meet the upcoming needs. One such new device paradigm consists of the transistor laser which is the fusion of a semiconductor laser and a high-speed heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) into a single device, with potential significant advantages in modulation bandwidth, noise properties and novel functionality by virtue of the three-terminal configuration. The present thesis deals with the design, fabrication and analysis of vertical-cavity surface-emitting transistor-lasers (T-VCSELs), a device previously not realized or investigated in great detail.GaAs-based T-VCSELs are investigated both theoretically and experimentally. A three-dimensional model is set up with a commercial software package and used for performance predictions and analysis as well as design and optimization purposes. It is concluded that a T-VCSEL biased in the common-base configuration may have a bandwidth surpassing those of conventional diode-type VCSELs or a T-VCSEL itself in the common-emitter configuration. Fabricated T-VCSELs make use of an epitaxial regrowth design to homogeneously integrate an AlGaAs/GaAs HBT and an InGaAs/GaAs VCSEL. An intracavity contacting scheme involving all three terminals, undoped distributed Bragg reflectors and modulation doping are used to ensure a low-loss laser structure. The first generation of devices showed sub-mA range base threshold current in combination with a high output power close to 2 mW but did not fulfill the requirements for a fully operational transistor laser since the transistor went into saturation before the onset of lasing (IBsat