Resonator embedded photonic crystal surface emitting lasers

Zijun Bian*, Xingyu Zhao, Jingzhao Liu, Daehyun Kim, Adam F. McKenzie, Stephen Thoms, Paul Reynolds, Neil D. Gerrard, Aye S. M. Kyaw, James Grant, Katherine Rae, Jonathan R. Orchard, Calum H. Hill, Connor W. Munro, Pavlo Ivanov, David T. D. Childs, Richard J. E. Taylor, Richard A. Hogg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The finite size of 2D photonic crystals results in them being a lossy resonator, with the normally emitting modes of conventional photonic crystal surface emitting lasers (PCSELs) differing in photon lifetime via their different radiative rates, and the different in-plane losses of higher order spatial modes. As a consequence, the fundamental spatial mode (lowest in-plane loss) with lowest out-of-plane scattering is the primary lasing mode. For electrically driven PCSELs, as current is increased, incomplete gain clamping results in additional spatial (and spectral) modes leading to a reduction in beam quality. A number of approaches have been discussed to enhance the area (power) scalability of epitaxy regrown PCSELs through careful design of the photonic crystal atom1–3. None of these approaches tackle the inflexibility in being unable to independently modify the photon lifetime of the different modes at the Γ2 point. As a method to introduce design flexibility, resonator embedded photonic crystal surface emitting lasers (REPCSELs) are introduced. This device, combining comparatively low coupling strength photonic crystal structures along with perimeter mirrors, allow a Fabry–Pérot resonance effect to be realised that provides wavelength selective modification of the photon lifetime. We show that surface emission of different surface emitting modes may be selectively enhanced, effectively changing the character of the modes at the Γ2 point. This is a consequence of the selective modification of in-plane loss for particular modes, and is dependent upon the alignment of the photonic crystal (PhC) band-structure and distributed Bragg reflectors’ (DBRs) reflectance spectrum. These findings offer new avenues in surface emitting laser diode engineering. The use of DBRs to reduce the lateral size of a PCSEL opens the route to small, low threshold current (Ith), high output efficiency epitaxy regrown PCSELs for high-speed communication and power sensitive sensing applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages8
Journalnpj Nanophotonics
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024

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