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Improvement of Characteristic Temperature for AlGaInP Laser Diodes. Presenter : Hsiu-Fen Chen ( 陳秀芬 ) Authors : Man-Fang Huang ( 黃滿芳 ), Meng-Lun Tsai ( 蔡孟倫 ), Yen-Kuang Kuo ( 郭艷光 ) Institute of Photonics National Chunghua University of Education 國立彰化師範大學 光電科技研究所. Content. Introduction

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improvement of characteristic temperature for algainp laser diodes

Improvement of Characteristic Temperature for AlGaInP Laser Diodes

Presenter: Hsiu-Fen Chen (陳秀芬)

Authors: Man-Fang Huang (黃滿芳),

Meng-Lun Tsai (蔡孟倫), Yen-Kuang Kuo (郭艷光)

Institute of Photonics

National Chunghua University of Education

國立彰化師範大學 光電科技研究所

  • Introduction
  • Requirement of DVD Laser Diodes
  • Disadvantage of DVD Laser Diodes
  • Approach for High Temperature Operation
  • Theoretical Analysis
  • Experimental Results
  • Conclusion

Paper 5628-21

  • AlGaInP laser diodes (LDs) are widely used in DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW and DVD player.
  • However, the requirement for the operation temperature of the AlGaInP LD has been increased from 70 ºC in the past to the more recent 100 ºC, especially for the outdoor applications such as portable players, computers or vehicle-used player.
  • The main reason to prevent AlGaInP LD from high operation temperature is the electron overflow from active region to p-cladding.
  • This study will focus on how to minimize the leakage current and improve the operation temperature for AlGaInP LD.

Paper 5628-21

specification of dvd ld
Specification of DVD LD
  • AlGaInP LD with high operation temperature for outdoor application is still under development.

Refer to the web site:

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disadvantage of algainp ld

Leakage current


Disadvantage of AlGaInP LD
  • Small conduction band offset (DEc=0.27 eV)

 Result in bad electron confinement

 Increase leakage current over p-cladding layer

  • Low Zn-doping concentration when Al is increased

 Increase leakage current over p-cladding

  • Large thermal resistivity (14~19 Kcm/W)

 Cause heat dissipation problem

 Increase threshold and operation currents

Paper 5628-21

approach for high operation temperature
Approach for High Operation Temperature
  • Utilize strained multiple quantum well (strained-MQW) to reduce threshold current
  • Optimize quantum well numbers to minimize electron overflow
  • Increase P-doping concentration to reduce leakage current 
  • Utilize multiple quantum barrier(MQB) to block overflow electrons
  • Our Work
    • Optimize barrier/confining layer composition along with quantum well numbers 
    • Change confining layer structure (or SCH) to graded-index separate confinement hetero-structure (GRIN-SCH) to enhance carrier confinement.

Paper 5628-21



Density of states

Band mixing





Density of states






Strain-Induced Effect

  • Strain-induced effect  Split of HH band from LH band

density of states in valence band  Ith



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Wavelength Design

  • For DVD application,

A compressive strain of 0.5% (In0.55Ga0.45P) and a well width of 5 nm is used for the well region

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2 wells



3 wells

4 wells





Well Number vs. Operation Temperature

  • Well number  carrier overflow  characteristic temperature (T0)
  • However, Threshold Current  There is a trade-off

Paper 5628-21


barrier height

Jnr ~ Jo exp(-barrier height/kT)

















P-doped Concentration vs Leakage Current

  • Barrier height =DEg - Fp - ( fn + fp ) and

Fpdecreases by increasing p-doping [~ -kT ln(p/Nv)]

  • Therefore, doping concentration of the p-cladding layer 
  •  quasi-Fermi level (p) conduction barrier height 
  •  leakage current 

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P-doping Concentration Effect

  • Use Mg as p-type dopant  Carrier Concentration up to 1~2 x 1018 cm-3
  • (1) External differential efficiency ~ 90 %
  • (2) Characteristic temperature > 100 K

(Man-Fang Huang et al, IEDMS, Vol. B, 1996)

Paper 5628-21


Multi-quantum Barrier (MQB)

  • Multi-quantum barrier (MQB) in p-cladding
  • Bragg reflector for electrons  reduce electron overflow
  •  High operation temperature (IEEE QE-29, p.1844, 1993)

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some issues
Some Issues
  • In reality, diffusion of p-dopants causes reliability issue

 Un-dope the “p-type” cladding layer for more than one thousand angstroms

 P-doping concentration at the interface between the active layer and p-cladding layer cannot be too high

 Leakage current cannot be ignored

  • Control for MQB thickness accuracy and uniformityis NOT easy

 Inaccuracy in MQB thickness may cause the increase in leakage current.

 Careful control of thickness of the MQB is critical to obtain high-performance LDs

Paper 5628-21

study goal
Study Goal
  • Theoretical analysis is done using LASTIP software
  • Key parameters including
    • Quantum barrier composition
    • Quantum well number
    • Confining layer structure
  • The optimization of the structure is based on constant emission wavelength and far-field pattern.

 l=654 nm (lasing)

or 645 nm (spontaneous)


single transverse mode

Paper 5628-21


P-GaAs(0.1mm, 1x1019 cm-3)

P-InGaP (0.05mm, 5x1018 cm-3)

p-(Al0.7Ga0.3)InP (1.13mm, 1x1018 cm-3)

p-(Al0.7Ga0.3)InP (0.17mm, 1x1018 cm-3)

(AlxGa1-x)InP confining layer (undoped)

(AlxGa1-x)InP barrier

5 nm Ga0.45InP well

(AlxGa1-x)InP confining layer (undoped)

n-(Al0.7Ga0.3)InP (1.3 mm, 1x1018 cm-3)

n-GaAs (0.3mm, 1x1018 cm-3)

n-GaAs substrate (200 mm, 1x1018 cm-3)

Laser Diode Structure

  • Cavity length = 450 mm; Ridge width =5 mm
  • No facet coating

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FWHM = 9.2°


FWHM = 29°

Angle (degree)

Far Field Pattern and Optical Confinement

  • To achieve a constant vertical emission angle of 29o

The optical confinement factor is about 0.3.

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effect of barrier composition and quantum well number
Effect of Barrier Composition and Quantum Well Number
  • At RT, 4QW & x=0.4 demonstrates the lowest threshold current
  • However, at 80℃, 5QW & x=0.5 shows the lowest threshold current
  • Al increases  threshold current increases as well

[x in (AlxGa1-x)InP]

Paper 5628-21

effect of barrier composition
Effect of Barrier Composition
  • x=0.4 in the (AlxGa1-x)InP barrier layer

 a lower quantum barrier uniform stimulated emission rates

  • x=0.4 in the (AlxGa1-x)InP confining layer

 a higher cladding barrier lower electron overflow

Therefore, a high average stimulated emission rate is achieved

Paper 5628-21

leakage current
Leakage Current
  • 5QW  the leakage currents are smaller than those of 4QW

 small difference among various aluminum compositions.

  • Al=0.6 has a higher leakage current due to smaller confining barrier

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simulated characteristic temperature
Simulated Characteristic Temperature
  • The threshold current of 4-QW LD is increased faster than 5-QW LD
  • 6-QW has similar temperature characteristics; however, the threshold current is too large
  • 5-QW with x=0.5 is a better choice for high operation temperature application

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experimental characteristic temperature
Experimental Characteristic Temperature
  • There is a crossover point between 4QW and 5QW
  • A characteristic temperature of as high as 110 K is obtained for 5-QW

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different confining structures





Different Confining Structures
  • GRIN-SCH is widely used and generally combined with SQW

∵ A reduction in the density of states in the optical confinement region

 Threshold current can be reduced

  • Mostly, linear-GRIN-SCH is employed
  • However, we will demonstrate that parabolic-GRIN-SCH shows a better choice for AlGaInP LD in terms of high operation temperature

Paper 5628-21

active region structure
Active Region Structure
  • The optimization is based on a fixed far-field pattern (FFP).

 The confining layer thicknesses are different for different confining structures.

  • Confining layer thicknesses for different QW number and GRIN-SCH combinations are given as follows:

Spacer (nm)


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band diagrams





Band Diagrams
  • Step-SCH

 A dip at the interface between the n-cladding and the confining layer

 Some of carriers are confined in this dip

    • No dip  better carrier injection
    • Graded confining structure  carrier distribution is non-uniform

Paper 5628-21

carrier distribution
Carrier Distribution
  • Electrons accumulate in the n-cladding/confining interface for SCH

 Injection efficiency is poor

  • GRIN-SCH hasnon-uniform electron distribution in the confining region

 Less electron overflow in the p-cladding

 Better carrier confinement

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stimulated emission rate
Stimulated Emission Rate
  • Stimulated emission rates (SER) at 20 ºC are almost the same for different GRIN-SCHs.
  • At 80 ºC,
    • SERs become more uniform among different quantum wellsdue to increase in thermionic transport
    • Parabolic-GRIN-SCH has higher SERs than linear-GRIN-SCH

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leakage current for grin sch
Leakage Current for GRIN-SCH
  • Linear-GRIN-SCH shows higher leakage current than parabolic-GRIN-SCH.
  • Parabolic-GRIN-SCH has better carrier confinement.

Paper 5628-21

experimental results
Experimental Results
  • Threshold Current  GRIN-SCH is lower than Step-SCH
  • Characteristic Temperature  GRIN-SCH-4QW is similar to SCH-5QW
  • GRIN-SCH-4QW is the best choice for lower threshold current and higher operation temperature

Paper 5628-21

  • We have done the optimization for the AlGaInP LD under the same waveguide confinement.
  • The simulation results suggest that five quantum wells are good enough to inhibit the electron overflow.
  • We theoretically show that the parabolic GRIN-SCH has a better carrier injection and smaller overflow than other SCH.
  • Experimental results show that LD with GRIN-SCH-4QW demonstrates the best performance. The characteristic temperature can be as high as 110K.
  • This work is supported by the National Science Council of the Republic of China, Taiwan, under grant NSC-92-2218-E-018-002.

Paper 5628-21


Thank You for Your Attention

For questions, please contact Prof. Man-Fang Huang