, Volume 39, Issue 4-6, pp 341-352
Date: 08 Jun 2007

Investigation of the Purcell effect in photonic crystal cavities with a 3D Finite Element Maxwell Solver

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Abstract

Photonic crystal cavities facilitate novel applications demanding the efficient emission of incoherent light. This unique property arises when combining a relatively high quality factor of the cavity modes with a tight spatial constriction of the modes. While spontaneous emission is desired in these applications the stimulated emission must be kept low. A measure for the spontaneous emission enhancement is the local density of optical states (LDOS). Due to the complicated three dimensional geometry of photonic crystal cavities the LDOS quantity has to be computed numerically. In this work, we present the computation of the LDOS by means of a 3D Finite Element (FE) Maxwell Solver. The solver applies a sophisticated symmetry handling to reduce the problem size and provides perfectly matched layers to simulate open boundaries. Different photonic crystal cavity designs have been investigated for their spontaneous emission enhancement by means of this FE solver. The simulation results have been compared to photoluminescence characterizations of fabricated cavities. The excellent agreement of simulations and characterizations results confirms the performance and the accuracy of the 3D FE Maxwell Solver.