Photonics2016, 3(3), 46; doi:10.3390/photonics3030046 (registering DOI) - published 27 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible Ar+-implanted Si-waveguide p-i-n photodetectors operating in the mid-infrared (2.2 to 2.3 µm wavelengths) are demonstrated at room temperature. Responsivities exceeding 21 mA/W are measured at a 5 V reverse bias with an estimated internal quantum efficiency of 3.1%–3.7%. The dark current is found to vary from a few nanoamps down to less than 11 pA after post-implantation annealing at 350 °C. Linearity is demonstrated over four orders of magnitude, confirming a single-photon absorption process. The devices demonstrate a higher thermal processing budget than similar Si+-implanted devices and achieve higher responsivity after annealing up to 350 °C.
Abstract: The considerably higher power and wider frequency coverage available from quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) in comparison to lead salt diode lasers has led to substantial advances when QCLs are used in pure and applied infrared spectroscopy. Furthermore, they can be used in both pulsed and continuous wave (cw) operation, opening up new possibilities in quantitative time resolved applications in plasmas both in the laboratory and in industry as shown in this article. However, in order to determine absolute concentrations accurately using pulsed QCLs, careful attention has to be paid to features like power saturation phenomena. Hence, we begin with a discussion of the non-linear effects which must be considered when using short or long pulse mode operation. More recently, cw QCLs have been introduced which have the advantage of higher power, better spectral resolution and lower fluctuations in light intensity compared to pulsed devices. They have proved particularly useful in sensing applications in plasmas when very low concentrations have to be monitored. Finally, the use of cw external cavity QCLs (EC-QCLs) for multi species detection is described, using a diagnostics study of a methane/nitrogen plasma as an example. The wide frequency coverage of this type of QCL laser, which is significantly broader than from a distributed feedback QCL (DFB-QCL), is a substantial advantage for multi species detection. Therefore, cw EC-QCLs are state of the art devices and have enormous potential for future plasma diagnostic studies.
Abstract: An automated design approach using an evolutionary algorithm for the development of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) is presented. Our algorithmic approach merges computational intelligence techniques with the physics of device structures, representing a design methodology that reduces experimental effort and costs. The algorithm was developed to produce QCLs with a three-well, diagonal-transition active region and a five-well injector region. Specifically, we applied this technique to AlGaAs/InGaAs strained active region designs. The algorithmic approach is a non-dominated sorting method using four aggregate objectives: target wavelength, population inversion via longitudinal-optical (LO) phonon extraction, injector level coupling, and an optical gain metric. Analysis indicates that the most plausible device candidates are a result of the optical gain metric and a total aggregate of all objectives. However, design limitations exist in many of the resulting candidates, indicating need for additional objective criteria and parameter limits to improve the application of this and other evolutionary algorithm methods.
Abstract: Transformation optics enables engineering of the effective topology and dimensionality of the optical space in metamaterials. Nonlinear optics of such metamaterials may mimic Kaluza-Klein theories having one or more kinds of effective charges. As a result, novel photon blockade devices may be realized. Here we demonstrate that an electromagnetic wormhole may be designed, which connects two points of such an optical space and changes its effective topological connectivity. Electromagnetic field configurations, which exhibit fractional effective charges, appear as a result of such topology change. Moreover, such effects as Misner-Wheeler “charge without charge” may be replicated.
Abstract: We present the current status of high-performance, compact, THz sources based on intracavity nonlinear frequency generation in mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers. Significant performance improvements of our THz sources in the power and wall plug efficiency are achieved by systematic optimizing the device’s active region, waveguide, and chip bonding strategy. High THz power up to 1.9 mW and 0.014 mW for pulsed mode and continuous wave operations at room temperature are demonstrated, respectively. Even higher power and efficiency are envisioned based on enhancements in outcoupling efficiency and mid-IR performance. Our compact THz device with high power and wide tuning range is highly suitable for imaging, sensing, spectroscopy, medical diagnosis, and many other applications.
Abstract: In an effort to overcome current limitations to electrical tuning of quantum cascade lasers, a strategy is proposed which combines heterogeneous quantum cascade laser gain engineering with sampled grating architectures. This approach seeks to not only widen the accessible spectral range for an individual emitter, but also compensate for functional non-uniformity of reflectivity and gain lineshapes. A trial laser with a dual wavelength core is presented which exhibits electroluminescence over a 750 cm−1 range and discrete single mode laser emission over a 700 cm−1 range. Electrical tuning over 180 cm−1 is demonstrated with a simple sampled grating design. A path forward to even wider tuning is also described using more sophisticated gain and grating design principles.