Emission Linewidth in Semiconductor Microcavity Lasers

R.E. Slusher, U. Mohideen, F. Jahnke and S.W. Koch

The lower limit of the emission linewidth in lasers is determined by the spontaneous emission into the laser mode. This spontaneous emission coupling can be modified through the design of the laser structure. In semiconductor microcavity lasers, coupling efficiencies up to 30% have been achieved. Generally, the spontaneous emission rate depends on the photon emission probability of the active material and of the density of states (DOS) of the corresponding photon modes (in semiconductors it depends on the product of the electron-hole occupation probabilities and the carrier density of states). Whereas the carrier DOS in semiconductors is strongly influenced by many-body effects in the electron-hole plasma, the photon DOS is determined by the laser structure.

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