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[en] In these lectures notes we introduce the various physical concepts which have been put to good use in the past 30 years since the invention of the semiconductor laser diode. We then evaluate the various advances which led to the modern quantum well laser, including the use of strain effects and quantum barriers. Semiconductor lasers are nowadays fabricated use of strain effects and quantum barriers. Semiconductor lasers are nowadays fabricated and used in a wide range of realizations. We give a number of recent illustrations such as high-power arrays, high-speed lasers, short and long wavelengths lasers etc. To obtain still better light-emitters one needs to obtain sharp optical features and enhanced light-matter interaction in solids. We describe the recent advances in lower dimensionality quantized systems such as 1D quantum well wires and OD quantum dots. While most of the effort has been, and still is, devoted to the quantization of electron motion in low-dimensional structures, a new promising scheme has recently appeared based on photon mode quantization in optical micro cavities, photonic bandgap materials and other photon localization structures. It leads to many features similar to those obtained by electron motion quantization in optical micro cavities, photonic bandgap materials and other photon localization structures. It leads to many features similar to those obtained by electron motion quantization, such as sharp emission lines, but also to several better ones: directionality, thresholdless lasers, strong light-matter coupling etc. Finally, we compare the two schemes of electron or photon confinement and show that the difference in potential performance is based on the Fermion or Boson nature of the particles. (author). 65 refs., 16 figs., 1 tab
[en] The enhancement of the extraction efficiency in light emitting diodes (LEDs) through the use of photonic crystals (PhCs) requires a structure design that optimizes the interaction of the guided modes with the PhCs. The main optimization parameters are related to the vertical structure of the LED, such as the thickness of layers, depth of the PhCs, position of the quantum wells as well as the PhC period and fill factor. We review the impact of the vertical design of different approaches of PhC LEDs through a theoretical and experimental standpoint, assessing quantitatively the competing mechanisms that act over each guided mode. Three approaches are described to overcome the main limitation of LEDs with surface PhCs, i.e. the insufficient interaction of low order guided modes with the PhCs. The introduction of an AlGaN confining layer in such structure is shown to be effective in extracting a fraction of the optical energy of low order modes; however, this approach is limited by the growth of the lattice mismatched AlGaN layer on GaN. The second approach, based on thin-film LEDs with PhCs, is limited by the presence of an absorbing reflective metal layer close to the guided modes that plays a major role in the competition between PhC extraction and metal dissipation. Finally, we demonstrate both experimentally and theoretically the superior extraction of the guided light in embedded PhC LEDs due to the higher interaction between all optical modes and the PhCs, which resulted in a close to unity extraction efficiency for this device. The use of high-resolution angle-resolved measurements to experimentally determine the PhC extraction parameters was an essential tool for corroborating the theoretical models and quantifying the competing absorption and extraction mechanisms in LEDs.
[en] Photonic crystals (PhCs) are periodically structured optical media offering the opportunity for spontaneous emission (SpE) to be strongly controlled in spatial terms (directions) or in absolute terms (rates). We discuss the application of this concept for practical light-emitting sources, summarizing the principles and actual merits of various approaches based on two- and three-dimensional PhCs. We take into consideration the numerous constraints on real-world light-emitting structures and materials. The various mechanisms through which modified photonic bands and band gaps can be used are first revisited in view of their use in light sources. We then present an in-depth discussion of planar emitters and enhanced extraction of light thanks to grating diffraction. Applications to conventional III–V semiconductors and to III-nitrides are reviewed. Comparison with random surface roughening reveals some common physical limitations. Some advanced approaches with complex structures or etched active structures are also discussed. Finally, the most promising mechanism to enhance the SpE rate, the Purcell effect, is considered. Its implementation, including through plasmonic effects, is shown to be effective only for very specific sources. We conclude by outlining the mix of physics and material parameters needed to grasp the relevant issues. (review article)
[en] We have developed a dry etch process for the fabrication of lithographically defined features close to light emitting layers in the III-nitride material system. The dry etch was tested for its effect on the internal quantum efficiency of c-plane InGaN quantum wells using the photoluminescence of a test structure with two active regions. No change was observed in the internal quantum efficiency of the test active region when the etched surface was greater than 71 nm away. To demonstrate the application of the developed dry etch process, surface-etched air gaps were fabricated 275 nm away from the active region of an m-plane InGaN/GaN laser diode and served as the waveguide upper cladding. Electrically injected lasing was observed without the need for regrowth or recovery anneals. This dry etch opens up a new design tool that can be utilized in the next generation of GaN light emitters. (paper)
[en] Structured luminescent thin films are investigated in the context of improved light extraction of phosphors for solid-state-lighting applications. Thin films composed of a sol-gel titania matrix doped with europium chelates are studied as a model system. These films, patterned with a square photonic lattice by soft nanoimprint lithography, are characterized by angle-resolved fluorescence. Modeling of this simple technique is shown to fit well the experimental data, revealing in great detail the guided modes of the film and their extraction parameters. An eightfold extraction enhancement factor of the film emission is measured. To further improve the extraction efficiency, we investigate the role of an additional low-index mesoporous silica underlayer through its influence on the guided modes of different polarizations and their interactions with the photonic crystal. Results obtained on model systems open the way towards the optimization of light-emitting devices, using a strategy of dielectric microstructure engineering using the sol-gel process.
[en] In hot-electron semiconductor devices, carrier transport extends over a wide range of conduction states, which often includes multiple satellite valleys. Electrical measurements can hardly give access to the transport processes over such a wide range without resorting to models and simulations. An alternative experimental approach however exists which is based on low-energy electron spectroscopy and provides, in a number of cases, very direct and selective information on hot-electron transport mechanisms. Recent results obtained in GaN crystals and devices by electron emission spectroscopy are discussed. Using near-band-gap photoemission, the energy position of the first satellite valley in wurtzite GaN is directly determined. By electro-emission spectroscopy, we show that the measurement of the electron spectrum emitted from a GaN p-n junction and InGaN/GaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs) under electrical injection of carriers provides a direct observation of transport processes in these devices. In particular, at high injected current density, high-energy features appear in the electro-emission spectrum of the LEDs showing that Auger electrons are being generated in the active region. These measurements allow us identifying the microscopic mechanism responsible for droop which represents a major hurdle for widespread adoption of solid-state lighting
[en] Laser lighting systems can take many form factors for applications, such as spotlighting, general illumination, or decorative lighting. The use of lasers in conjunction with phosphors for white lighting leads to questions about incorporating the various package elements. Some practical considerations of a transmission geometry system implementing a blue laser and a yellow Ce:YAG single crystal phosphor are discussed, with specific focus on color tuning and the optical efficiency of the single crystal. A compact emitter is demonstrated with examples of modifications to increase the system performance and complexity. Moving from a cool white system to a warm white system is done through the addition of a red light such as a red laser or red phosphor. The single crystal phosphor component needs to allow light to be coupled in from the laser and has high extraction efficiency. A wavelength-selective reflective coating is implemented to address these concerns, which increases the luminous efficacy of the system. Engineering the phosphor element using this concept may allow for single crystal phosphors to be viable options for future laser lighting systems. (© 2020 Wiley‐VCH GmbH)
[en] The mechanism responsible for efficiency droop in InGaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has long been elusive due to indirect measurement techniques used for its identification. Auger recombination is unique among proposed efficiency droop mechanisms, in that it is the only mechanism capable of generating hot carriers. In a previous study [J. Iveland et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 177406 (2013)], we performed electron energy analysis of electrons emitted into vacuum from a forward biased InGaN LED that had been brought into negative electron affinity by cesiation. Three peaks were observed in the energy spectrum of vacuum emitted electrons. In this Letter, we unambiguously identify the origin of the peaks. The two higher energy peaks correspond to accumulation of electrons transported to the surface in the bulk Γ and side L conduction band valleys. The L-valley peak is a direct signature of a hot Auger electron population. The lower energy peak results from surface photoemission induced by the internal LED light emitted from the InGaN quantum wells. Two control experiments were performed. In the first, a simple GaN pn junction generated only a single Γ peak in electroemission. In the second, selective detection of the photoemission from an LED under modulated light excitation and DC electrical injection confirms that only the low energy peak is photogenerated and that LED light is incapable of generating Γ or L-valley peaks, the latter only occurring due to the Auger effect in the LED active region