Mode suppression in metal filled photonic crystal vertical cavity lasers

Benjamin G. Griffin, Amir Arbabi, Lynford L. Goddard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Simulation results for an etched air hole photonic crystal (PhC) vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) structure with various thicknesses of metal deposited inside the holes are presented. The higher-order modes of the structure are more spread out than the fundamental mode, and penetrate into the metal-filled holes. Due to the lossy nature of the metal, these higher-order modes experience a greater loss than the fundamental mode, resulting in an enhanced side mode suppression ratio (SMSR). A figure of merit for determining which metals would have the greatest impact on the SMSR is derived and validated using a transmission matrix method calculation. A full three-dimensional simulation of the PhC VCSEL structure is performed using the plane wave admittance method, and SMSRs are calculated for increasing metal thicknesses. Of the metals simulated, chromium provided the greatest SMSR enhancement with more than a 4 dB improvement with 500 nm of metal for an operating current of 12 times threshold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XVI
StatePublished - 2012
EventVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XVI - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2012Jan 26 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XVI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • photonic crystal
  • side mode suppression
  • single-mode
  • vertical cavity laser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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