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Regular version of the site

Article

Virtual cavity in distributed Bragg reflectors

Optics Express. 2018. Vol. 26. No. 19. P. 25280-25292.
Zhukov A. E.

We show theoretically and experimentally that distributed Bragg reflector (DBR)
supports a surface electromagnetic wave exhibiting evanescent decay in the air and oscillatory
decay in the DBR. The wave exists in TM polarization only. The field extension in the air
may reach several wavelengths of light. Once gain medium is introduced into the DBR a
novel class of diode lasers, semiconductor optical amplifiers, light-emitting diodes, etc. can
be developed allowing a new type of in-plane or near-field light outcoupling. To improve the
wavelength stability of the laser diode, a resonant cavity structure can be coupled to the DBR,
allowing a coupled state of the cavity mode and the near-field mode. A GaAlAs-based
epitaxial structure of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) having an
antiwaveguiding cavity and multiple GaInAs quantum wells as an active region was grown
and processed as an in–plane Fabry-Pérot resonator with cleaved facets. Windows in the top
stripe contact were made to facilitate monitoring of the optical modes. Three types of the
optical modes were observed in electroluminescence (EL) studies under high current densities
> 1 kA/cm2. Mode A with the longest wavelength is a VCSEL–like mode emitting normal to
the surface. Mode B has a shorter wavelength, emitting light at two symmetric lobes tilted
with respect to the normal to the surface in the direction parallel to the stripe. Mode C has the
shortest wavelength and shifts with a temperature at a rate 0.06 nm/K. Polarization studies
reveal predominantly TE emission for modes A and B and purely TM for mode C in
agreement with the theory. Spectral position, thermal shift and polarization of mode C
confirm it to be a coupled state of the cavity mode and near-field DBR surface-trapped mode.