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Quantum Confined Laser DevicesOptical gain and recombination in semiconductors$
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Peter Blood

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644513.001.0001

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Threshold and the light–current characteristic

Threshold and the light–current characteristic

(p.259) 15 Threshold and the light–current characteristic
Quantum Confined Laser Devices

Peter Blood

Oxford University Press

The light–current characteristic is the most basic measurement that can be made of the performance of a laser diode, giving its threshold current and external efficiency. For conventional laser diodes a threshold in this characteristic is usually adequate evidence that laser action has been achieved. The contributions to the threshold current of real devices by current spreading, non-radiative recombination by Shockley–Read–Hall (SRH) and Auger processes, and carrier leakage over heterobarriers are described. These are not usually included in theoretical calculations of gain–current characteristics. The information that can be extracted from the threshold current density alone is limited; however, systematic measurements as a function of cavity length can give greater insight into operation of the device, for example in certain circumstances analysis of the differential quantum efficiency provides a value for the optical mode loss. Analysis of the characteristics of quantum dot and well devices is described.

Keywords:   threshold current, current spreading, non-radiative recombination, Shockley–Read–Hall recombination, Auger recombination, leakage current, cavity length, differential quantum efficiency, optical mode loss

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