Conservation of quantum efficiency in quantum well intermixing by stress engineering with dielectric bilayers
In semiconductor lasers, quantum well intermixing (QWI) with high selectivity using dielectrics often results in lower quantum efficiency. In this paper, we report on an investigation regarding the effect of thermally induced dielectric stress on the quantum efficiency of quantum well structures in impurity-free vacancy disordering (IFVD) process using photoluminescence and device characterization in conjunction with microscopy. SiO2 and Si x O2/SrF2 (versus SrF2) films were employed for the enhancement and suppression of QWI, respectively. Large intermixing selectivity of 75 nm (125 meV), consistent with the theoretical modeling results, with negligible effect on the suppression region characteristics, was obtained. Si x O2 layer compensates for the large thermal expansion coefficient mismatch of SrF2 with the semiconductor and mitigates the detrimental effects of SrF2 without sacrificing its QWI benefits. The bilayer dielectric approach dramatically improved the dielectric–semiconductor interface quality. Fabricated high power semiconductor lasers demonstrated high quantum efficiency in the lasing region using the bilayer dielectric film during the intermixing process. Our results reveal that stress engineering in IFVD is essential and the thermal stress can be controlled by engineering the dielectric strain opening new perspectives for QWI of photonic devices.