Semiconductor Laser Overview
A very brief overview is given of the large and wide-ranging field of semiconductor laser diodes, in the context of the development of the field from its earliest days. The key issues are described, and the interested reader is invited to consult the references cited for more thorough treatments. Following the first theoretical discussions, and practical demonstrations, of lasing in semiconductors in the early 1960s, it took over ten years before lasers could be fabricated with remotely useful levels of performance. By the early 1980s, however, materials and technology had progressed at a phenomenal pace to the point where semiconductor lasers were employed at the heart of the Compact Disc players which came to dominate consumer audio, optical fiber communications links which now route virtually all of the world’s telephone trunk lines, and laser printers which have displaced mechanical printers from all but the lowest cost end of the market. Semiconductor lasers in the 1990s are expanding into new materials systems, exploiting mechanical strain as a design feature, and being implemented in many new device topologies. Despite these phenomenal successes, semiconductor lasers in particular, and photonics technology in general, still remain to be widely exploited.
KeywordsSemiconductor Laser Threshold Current Distribute Bragg Reflector Active Layer Thickness Quasi Fermi Level
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