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Open AccessArticle

Mid-Infrared Quantum-Dot Quantum Cascade Laser: A Theoretical Feasibility Study

Department of Physics and Research Center OPTIMAS, University of Kaiserslautern, P.O. Box 3049, 67653 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Semiconductor Materials and Device Sciences Department, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185-1086, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Photonics 2016, 3(2), 29;
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 6 May 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 13 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Cascade Lasers - Advances and New Applications)
PDF [465 KB, uploaded 13 May 2016]


In the framework of a microscopic model for intersubband gain from electrically pumped quantum-dot structures we investigate electrically pumped quantum-dots as active material for a mid-infrared quantum cascade laser. Our previous calculations have indicated that these structures could operate with reduced threshold current densities while also achieving a modal gain comparable to that of quantum well active materials. Here, we study the influence of two important quantum-dot material parameters, namely inhomogeneous broadening and quantum-dot sheet density, on the performance of a proposed quantum cascade laser design. In terms of achieving a positive modal net gain, a high quantum-dot density can compensate for moderately high inhomogeneous broadening, but at a cost of increased threshold current density. However, by minimizing quantum-dot density with presently achievable inhomogeneous broadening and total losses, significantly lower threshold densities than those reported in quantum-well quantum-cascade lasers are predicted by our theory. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiconductor laser; quantum dot; quantum cascade laser semiconductor laser; quantum dot; quantum cascade laser

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Michael, S.; Chow, W.W.; Schneider, H.C. Mid-Infrared Quantum-Dot Quantum Cascade Laser: A Theoretical Feasibility Study. Photonics 2016, 3, 29.

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