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Design of a Surface-Emitting, Subwavelength Metal-Clad Disk Laser in the Visible Spectrum

Research Area: Nanophotonics Year: 2010
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: photonic crystal, laser, surface emitting laser, metal optics, microcavitiy, nanofabrication, mode volume
Authors: Huang, Jingqing; Kim, Se-Heon; Scherer, Axel
Journal: Optics Express Volume: 18
Number: 19 Pages: 19581-19591
Month: September
We analyze metal-clad disk cavities designed for nanolasers in the visible red spectrum with subwavelength device size and mode volume. Metal cladding suppresses radiation loss and supports low order modes with room temperature Q of 200 to 300. Non-degenerate single-mode operation with enhanced spontaneous emission coupling factor beta is expected with the TE011 mode that has a 0.46(lambda(0)/n)(3) mode volume and Q - 210 in a device of size 0.12 lambda(3)(0). Threshold gain calculations show that room temperature lasing is possible using multiple GaInP/AlGaInP quantum wells as the gain medium. Placing a planar metal reflector under the cavity can enhance radiation and extraction efficiencies or increase the Q, without incurring additional metallic absorption loss. We show that the far-field radiation characteristics are strongly affected by the devices' immediate surroundings, such as changes in metal cladding thickness, even as the resonant mode profile, frequency, and Q remain the same. When the metal cladding is 1 mu m thick, light radiates upward with a distinct intensity maximum at 45 degrees; when the cladding is 100 nm thick, the emitted light spreads in a near-horizontal direction.
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