Ivan Avrutsky


Integrated Optics
Surface Plasmons
2D Wavegude Gratings
Lasers and Quantum Wells
Lasers Annealing and Ablation
Waveguide Gratings

Semiconductor Lasers & Quantum Wells

Semiconductor lasers (or laser diodes, LD), first demonstrated in early 60s, were thought to be hardly suitable for any practical applications. These days, the entire laser industry is classified by many as industry of semiconductor lasers and all other types of lasers. By overall compactness and wall-plug efficiency, no other laser source can compete with laser diodes. Major milestones in the development of semiconductor lasers include double heterostructure for separate optimization of confinement of charge carriers in the active area and emitted light in the guiding layer; extremely narrow active area (quantum well, QW) in which quantization of motion of electrons and holes leads to a sharper density of states distribution in the energy domain and eventually to higher output efficiency; wavelength selection and tunability in lasers with built-in diffraction gratings: distributed feedback (DFB) and distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR) lasers; vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL) with extremely high modulation speed and optical output matching the fundamental mode of a standard optical fiber; quantum cascade (QC) lasers - well, these are not diodes anymore, - in which efficient population of the top energy level and depopulation of the bottom level are achieved through quantum tunneling resonances; and, of course, introduction of new material systems that expand wavelength range covered by semiconductor lasers.


Our contribution to the field comprises the concept of binary superimposed gratings (BSG) for widely tunable semiconductor lasers. The technology has been patented and licensed to Nortel Networks. Earlier work includes research on lateral current injection lasers, studies of fine spectral modulations due to tunneling coupling between the guided mode in a laser and the substrate modes, development of high-power aluminum-free pump lasers, lasers with external resonators, and spectroscopic characterization of quantum well structures.


US Patent 6,141,370 (2000) Superimposed Grating WDM Tunable Lasers; Licensed to Nortel Networks

[51] IEEE J. of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics (1999), “Ion implanted GaAs/InGaAs lateral...”

[49] IEEE J. of Quantum Electronics (1998), “Design of widely tunable semiconductor lasers and the…”

[48] SPIE Proceedings (1998), “Binary superimposed gratings for tunable and multiwavelength...” 

[47] Compound Semiconductors (1998), “Ion implanted GaAs/InGaAs lateral injection ridge QW laser..."

[46] IEEE J. of Quantum Electronics (1997),  “Investigations of the spectral characteristics of 980-nm..."

[45] Semiconductors (1997),  “A study of the excitonic characteristics in heterostructures with quantum..."

[44] Quantum Electronics (1997), “Semiconductor lasers with tunnel-coupled waveguides emitting at the..."

[43] Quantum Electronics (1996), “Single-mode emission from injection lasers with a trapezoidal active...”

[42] Semiconductors (1996), “Photomodulation spectroscopy for determining the total exciton absorption...”

[41] Physics of low-dimensional structures (1995), “Phase space filling in quantum well filled by 2D...”

[40] SPIE Proceedings (1995), “Calculation of exciton suppression in quantum well filled by 2D electron...”

[39] SPIE Proceedings (1995), “Modulation spectroscopy for determination of integral excitonic absorption...”

[38] Advanced Materials in Optics, Electrooptics and Communication Technologies (1995) “InGaP…”

[37] Quantum Electronics (1994), “Lasers emitting at a wavelength of 0.98 um, constructed from InGaP… “

[36] Soviet Lightwave Communications (1993), “InGaP/GaAs/InGaAs quantum well lasers prepared by…”

[35] Soviet Lightwave Communications (1992), “Study of In(x)Ga(1-x)As/GaAs single quantum well…”

[34] Soviet Physics. Semiconductors (1992) “Determination of the homogeneity of quantum wells in the…”

[33] Soviet Physics. Semiconductors (1991), “Calculation of the exciton parameters in stressed quantum…”

[17] Soviet J. of Quantum Electronics (1988), “Radiation sources for fiber-optic communication lines with…”

[16] Soviet Technical Physics Letters (1987), “Single-frequency semiconductor laser with lambda=1.3um…”


E-mail to avrutsky@eng.wayne.edu.                                       Back to The ECE faculty HomePage.