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Catastrophic Optical Damage Mitigation in Quantum Cascade Lasers by Facet Disordering

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68936-19-C-0041
Agency Tracking Number: N19A-004-0153
Amount: $139,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N19A-T004
Solicitation Number: 19.A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-12-17
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 079141140
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Kurt Linden Kurt Linden
 Senior Scientist
 (781) 917-3349
Business Contact
Phone: (781) 917-3342
Research Institution
 Northwestern University
 Catherine Neuses Catherine Neuses
633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

 (847) 467-7508
 Nonprofit College or University

Quantum cascade laser optical output power is limited by laser facet catastrophic optical damage (COD). In edge-emitting semiconductor lasers COD is a thermal runaway process wherein the front facet of the laser heats under high power operation. This facet heating reduces the semiconductor bandgap which increases the optical absorption and also increases the electrical injection current in the facet region. The increase in facet temperature accelerates crystallographic defect propagation. The end result of this thermal runaway is laser facet burnout. Whereas a variety of facet coatings have been investigated, the most robust method of reducing COD has been that of quantum well intermixing whereby lattice disordering is used to convert the laser facet regions to material with a larger bandgap than that of the bulk laser material. When properly designed, this can mitigate thermal runaway. Phase I will theoretically analyze facet heating and thermal runaway by COD for edge-emitting QCLs, and will then establish a candidate quantum well intermixing procedure based on prior successful COD reduction in commercial edge-emitting III-V compound semiconductor lasers. Phase II will then institute this procedure on mid-IR QCLs and measure the resulting performance improvement under high power operating conditions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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