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Opt Express. 2009 Jun 8;17(12):9491-502.

Predictable surface emission patterns in terahertz photonic-crystal quantum cascade lasers.

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  • 1Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale, Universit√© Paris-Sud and CNRS, UMR8622, Orsay, France.


We demonstrate a framework to understand and predict the far-field emission in terahertz frequency photonic-crystal quantum cascade lasers. The devices, which employ a high-performance three-well active region, are lithographically tunable and emit in the 104-120 microm wavelength range. A peak output power of 7 mW in pulsed mode is obtained at 10 K, and the typical device maximum operating temperature is 136 K. We identify the photonic-crystal band-edge states involved in the lasing process as originating from the hexapole and monopole modes at the G point of the photonic band structure, as designed. The theoretical far-field patterns, obtained via finite-difference time-domain simulations, are in excellent agreement with experiment. Polarization measurements further support the theory, and the role of the bonding wires in the emission process is elucidated.

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