Above-threshold numerical modeling of high-index-contrast photonic-crystal quantum cascade lasers
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2015 SPIE. Three-dimensional above-threshold analyses of high-index-contrast (HC) photonic-crystal (PC) quantum-cascade-laser arrays (QCLA) structures, for operation at watt-range CW powers in a single spatial mode, have been performed. Threeelement HC-PC structures are formed by alternating active- antiguided and passive-guided regions along with respective metal-electrode spatial profiling. The 3-D numerical code takes into account absorption and edge-radiation losses. Rigrods approximation is used for the gain. The specific feature of QCLA is that only the transverse component of the magnetic field sees the gain. Results of above-threshold laser modeling in various approximate versions of laser-cavity description are compared with the results of linear, full-vectorial modeling by using the COMSOL package. Additionally, modal gains for several higher-order optical modes, on a frozen gain background produced by the fundamental-mode, are computed by the Arnoldi algorithm. The gain spatial-hole burning effect results in growth of the competing modes gain with drive current. Approaching the lasing threshold for a competing higher-order mode sets a limit on the single-mode operation range. The modal structure and stability are studied over a wide range in the variation of the inter-element widths. Numerical analyses predict that the proper choice of construction parameters ensures stable single-mode operation at high drive levels above threshold. The output power from a single- mode operated QCLA at a wavelength of 4.7 m is predicted to be available at multi-watt levels, although this power may be restricted by thermal effects.