J.L. Jewell, A. Scherer, S.L. McCall, Y.H. Lee, S.J. Walker, J.P. Harbison, and L.T. Florez,
Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, show promise for a variety of applications. Use of large coherently-coupled arrays could provide high power, cheap laser sources. Smaller arrays could accomplish high-speed communication communication
between electronic chips, overcoming a bottleneck that presently limits the speed of computers. In the longer term, arrays of laser logic gates may be used for photonic switching in communication networks or for general purpose computing. For information processing applications, minimizing the threshold current is essential. The lowest threshold edge-emitting lasers contain a single quantum well and require ~0.55 mA. Minimum thresholds will be attained by minimizing the volume of active material in the laser, which in turn requires high-reflectivity mirrors.
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