A highly efficient, electrically pumped edge-emitting semiconductor laser based on a one- or two-dimensional photonic bandgap (PBG) structure is described. The laser optical cavity is formed using a pair of PBG mirrors operating in the photonic band gap regime. Transverse confinement is achieved by surrounding an active semiconductor layer of high refractive index with lower-index cladding layers. The cladding layers can be electrically insulating in the passive PBG mirror and waveguide regions with a small conducting aperture for efficient channeling of the injection pump current into the active region. The active layer can comprise a quantum well structure. The quantum well structure can be relaxed in the passive regions to provide efficient extraction of laser light from the active region.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.