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Journal Article

Probing scattering mechanisms with symmetric quantum cascade lasers


Schuster,  Manfred Erwin
Inorganic Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Deutsch, C., Detz, H., Zederbauer, T., Andrews, A. M., Klang, P., Kubis, T., et al. (2013). Probing scattering mechanisms with symmetric quantum cascade lasers. Optics Express, 21(6), 7209-7213. doi:10.1364/OE.21.007209.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-A0A8-F
A characteristic feature of quantum cascade lasers is their unipolar carrier transport. We exploit this feature and realize nominally symmetric active regions for terahertz quantum cascade lasers, which should yield equal performance with either bias polarity. However, symmetric devices exhibit a strongly bias polarity dependent performance due to growth direction asymmetries, making them an ideal tool to study the related scattering mechanisms. In the case of an InGaAs/GaAsSb heterostructure, the pronounced interface asymmetry leads to a significantly better performance with negative bias polarity and can even lead to unidirectionally working devices, although the nominal band structure is symmetric. The results are a direct experimental proof that interface roughness scattering has a major impact on transport/lasing performance.