High internal differential efficiency mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers

Dan Botez, Jeremy D. Kirch, Chun Chieh Chang, Colin Boyle, Honghyuk Kim, Kevin M. Oresick, Chris Sigler, Luke J. Mawst, Minhyeok Jo, Jae Cheol Shin, Doo Gun-Kim, Don F. Lindberg, Thomas L. Earles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Citations (Scopus)


Implementation of the step-taper active-region (STA) design to 8-9 μm-emitting quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) has resulted in both high T0 and T1 values: 220 K and 665 K, and short lower-level lifetimes: 0.12 ps. In turn, the internal differential efficiency ηid, which is the product of the injection efficiency and the differential laser-transition efficiency, reaches values as high as 86 % for both 8.4 μm- and 8.8 μm-emitting QCLs. Such ηid values are 30-50% higher than those obtained from conventional QCLs emitting in the 7-11 μm wavelength range. Achieving both carrier-leakage suppression and miniband-like carrier extraction in mid-infrared (IR) QCLs leads to ηid values close to the fundamental limit of ∼ 90 %. In turn, the currently employed fundamental wallplug-efficiency limits over the mid-IR wavelength range have to be increased by ∼ 34 % (e.g., the wallplug-efficiency limit at λ= 4.6 μm increases from 29 % to 39 %). Preliminary results from STA-type 4.8-5.0 μm-emitting QCLs include 1.5 W CW operation, and 77 % internal differential efficiency; that is, 30-50% higher than the ηid values obtained from conventional 4.0-6.5μm-emitting QCLs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNovel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XVI
EditorsPeter M. Smowton, Alexey A. Belyanin
ISBN (Electronic)9781510606876
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventNovel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XVI 2017 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2017 Jan 302017 Feb 2

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceNovel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XVI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Carrier-leakage suppression
  • Internal differential efficiency
  • Quantum cascade laser
  • Resonant-tunneling carrier extraction
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Wallplug efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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