Distributed Bragg Reflectors (DBRs) are a fundamental component of optical devices requiring an optical gain, such as various types of semiconductor lasers. Conventional methods of forming DBRs require high numbers of layers of semiconductor materials to get the desired reflective resolution. This new method of forming DBRs controls the microstructure of the layers and offers improved vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and resonant cavity light emitting diodes (LEDs).
This technology is a method for making a highly reflective interface for distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs), which are used in VCSELs and resonant cavity LEDs to generate optical activity. Using Group III-V materials, the interface consists of amorphous layers that contain aluminum, which when oxidized significantly increases the refractive index. As a result, the number of layers needed for the DBR can be reduced from about 30 to 4 or 5. A key element of this technology is that by using a combination of alternating polycrystalline and amorphous materials the layers can be applied to any surface, regardless of the substrate's lattice constant. Therefore, the DBR can be created on any substrate, including glass and silicon, and has a wider range of design possibilities. Additionally, changing the thickness of the layers allows reflectors of different wavelengths to be created. Highly reflective DBRs which reflect in the short wavelength of the visible spectrum and deep into the ultraviolet wavelength can be formed by this method. This technology has been tested extensively with the most common material sets, gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium phosphide (GaP) systems.
- Enables fabrication on any surface, even silicon, widening the range of useful materials and designs.
- Decreased processing due to reduced number of layers Increased options for substrate material, including silicon, glass, and other low-cost options.
- Increased design options, particularly when integrating into electronics and optical devices Improved tolerance of temperature variation due to the DBRs more stable characteristics