Fully epitaxial microcavities: Open the door to quantum optoelectronic effects in the GaN-based system

June 16, 2010

For the very first time, a team of researchers in Germany has introduced quantum dots in fully epitaxial nitride laser structures without the need for hybrid systems -- effectively eliminating the cumbersome method of combining different materials from epitaxy and evaporation. This should help pave the way to a further optimization of lasers and single photon emitters in the visible spectrum region, according to the team.

A detailed description of their findings appears in the journal , which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

"Gallium-nitride-based laser diodes are very promising materials for the development of efficient light sources in the UV-blue to green spectral region. They're already in use, for example, in BluRay (high-data-storage disc) players," explains Kathrin Sebald, the optics team's senior postdoctoral researcher from the University of Bremen's Institute of . "By reducing the size of the optically active material down to the nanometer scale (quantum dots), the efficiency of such devices can be increased much further -- opening the door to the use of quantum optoelectronic effects."

When combined with optical microcavities, the emitted light can be confined to ultra-small volumes by resonant recirculation. In such quantum optical devices, microcavities can coax to emit spontaneous photons in a desired direction, which leads to an enormously increased output, Sebald notes. Applications of these devices are as diverse as their properties.

Explore further: Engineers at USC and UT-Austin boost the sensitivity of night vision goggles by using quantum dots

More information: The article, " Optical properties of InGaN quantum dots in monolithic pillar microcavities" by Kathrin Sebald et al will appear in the journal Applied Physics Letters. apl.aip.org/

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