This paper discusses the performance of InGaN multi-quantum well (MQW) laser diodes and the effects of composition fluctuations on the optical gain characteristics. Pulsed threshold current densities as low as 4.8 kA/cm2 have been observed for ridge-waveguide laser diodes allowing room-temperature continuous-wave (cw) operation with threshold currents of 125 mA and operating voltages of 6.5 V. The effects of composition fluctuations in the InGaN alloy were investigated by comparing theoretical and experimental gain spectra obtained from true spontaneous emission measurements, cavity length studies and cw laser emission spectra. We find that the distributed losses in our structures are of the order of 45-50 cm-1. Using a simple logarithmic gain-current relationship, we were able to describe the experimental results with a characteristic gain g0 = 72 cm-1 and a transparency current density Jtrans = 2.5 kA/cm2. Optical gain calculations have been performed for InGaN quantum-well structures, based on band structures generated with an effective-mass Hamiltonian and taking pseudomorphic strain into account. We find that a very modest amount of composition fluctuation (standard deviation in the In content < 0.008), which produces inhomogeneous broadening, is consistent with the experimental observations. This is consistent with TEM structural studies, which show that there is negligible phase separation in InxGa1-xN MQW with indium content smaller than x = 0.1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics