Mode control in long cavity VCSELs with a curved mirrorView Publication
Many applications benefit from single mode operation of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) due to the need for a consistent beam profile and wavelength. While long cavity VCSELs have demonstrated good results in recent years, with examples of sub 1mA thresholds for devices with blue and green emission, the mode has not been fully controlled. Traditionally, VCSELs, with their short cavities, inherently maintain single longitudinal mode operation while struggling with multi-lateral modes. However, the use of a long cavity device with a curved mirror provides the opposite challenges for mode control, as the lateral mode can be controlled with the lens curvature, but the long cavity length allows for multiple longitudinal modes. In this paper, we will present the use of a filtering mirror with a highly varying reflectivity spectrum for obtaining single longitudinal mode operation up to 2mW and 50 kA/cm2. The filtering mirror reflectivity leads to significant mirror loss for adjacent longitudinal modes. Thus, by engineering the beam profile with the lens and filtering the longitudinal modes with the mirror structure, we are able to control the output shape, divergence angle, and wavelength stability of the device. This mode control, along with the low thresholds and lifetimes greater than 2000 hours, shows the potential of the long cavity structure for a variety of applications.
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