Near-infrared and mid-infrared semiconductor broadband light emitters

Hou, C.-C. et al. (2018) Near-infrared and mid-infrared semiconductor broadband light emitters. Light: Science and Applications, 7(3), 17170. (doi: 10.1038/lsa.2017.170) (PMID:30839527) (PMCID:PMC6060043)

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Semiconductor broadband light emitters have emerged as ideal and vital light sources for a range of biomedical sensing/imaging applications, especially for optical coherence tomography systems. Although near-infrared broadband light emitters have found increasingly wide utilization in these imaging applications, the requirement to simultaneously achieve both a high spectral bandwidth and output power is still challenging for such devices. Owing to the relatively weak amplified spontaneous emission, as a consequence of the very short non-radiative carrier lifetime of the inter-subband transitions in quantum cascade structures, it is even more challenging to obtain desirable mid-infrared broadband light emitters. There have been great efforts in the past 20 years to pursue high-efficiency broadband optical gain and very low reflectivity in waveguide structures, which are two key factors determining the performance of broadband light emitters. Here we describe the realization of a high continuous wave light power of >20 mW and broadband width of >130 nm with near-infrared broadband light emitters and the first mid-infrared broadband light emitters operating under continuous wave mode at room temperature by employing a modulation p-doped InGaAs/GaAs quantum dot active region with a ‘J’-shape ridge waveguide structure and a quantum cascade active region with a dual-end analogous monolithic integrated tapered waveguide structure, respectively. This work is of great importance to improve the performance of existing near-infrared optical coherence tomography systems and describes a major advance toward reliable and cost-effective mid-infrared imaging and sensing systems, which do not presently exist due to the lack of appropriate low-coherence mid-infrared semiconductor broadband light sources.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (61575215), the National Research Projects of China (2013CB632800), the Thousand Youth Talents Plan and the Key Research and Development Plan of Ministry of Science and Technology (2016YFB0402303).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Childs, Dr David and Hogg, Professor Richard
Authors: Hou, C.-C., Chen, H.-M., Zhang, J.-C., Zhuo, N., Huang, Y.-Q., Hogg, R. A., Childs, D. T.D., Ning, J.-Q., Wang, Z.-G., Liu, F.-Q., and Zhang, Z.-Y.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Light: Science and Applications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2047-7538
Published Online:28 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Light: Science and Applications 7(3):17170
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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