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Towards functional miniaturized lasers

Citation

Zhang, Zhaoyu (2007) Towards functional miniaturized lasers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-05162007-123028

Abstract

In this thesis, nanometer scale semiconductor lasers and micrometer scale polymer based dye lasers are our focus in bringing the miniaturized lasers to applications in data transmission; ultra-small chemical / biological sensors; and ultra-compact spectroscopic sources. Combining the advantage of electrically driven semiconductor lasers and the advantage of a broad emission spectrum of dye molecules would utilize the highly dense multi-functional lab-on-a-chip by integrating microfluidic PCR, microfluidic fluorescent detection system, and compact visible and NIR detectors which are commercially available. On the other hand, in the meantime of pushing the size limit of the laser cavities, new phenomena with the nanoscale lasers enable further exploration and understanding in fundamental physics. In the first part of this thesis, two sub-micron scale semiconductor lasers are presented. The smallest lasers utilizing the disk structures—with diameters of approximately 600 nm—were realized in the InGaP/InGaAlP quantum well material system at room temperature, featuring ultra-small mode volumes of approximately 0.03 cubic?microns, and exhibiting single-mode operation at low threshold powers. And the first visible photonic crystal ultra-small mode volume lasers, with cavity volumes of approximately 0.01 cubic?microns, are realized in the same material system. They are ideally suited for use as spectroscopic sources and both of them can be lithographically tuned from 650 – 690 nm. In the second part of this thesis, two sub-millimeter-scale polymer-based dye lasers—a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based mechanically tunable DFB dye laser and a poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA)-based second-order circular grating distributed feedback dye laser—are presented. Both of them are compatible with microfluidic technology, which gives freedom in integrating the lasers with the microfluidic chips. Compared to the soft lithography used in the PDMS-based dye laser, the nanoimprint lithography used in the PMMA-based dye laser would be more useful for fabricating ultra-small dye lasers and enabling mass production in the near future. At the end of the thesis, a nano-linewidth metal grating mask pattern transferred transient grating (MPT-TG) technique is described as a potential technique using the ultra-small lasers for molecular-dynamics study in solutions.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:dye laser; elastomer; electrical pump; electron beam lithography; III/V; InGaAlP; InGaP; laser; mechanical tunable; microdisk; nanoimprint; nanolaser; optical pump; optofluidic; Photonic crystal; polymer; pulsed pump; room temperature; semiconductor; soft lithography; spectroscopy; sub micron; submicron; visible
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Scherer, Axel
Thesis Committee:
  • Scherer, Axel (chair)
  • Yariv, Amnon
  • Yang, Changhuei
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
  • Bockrath, Marc William
Defense Date:3 May 2007
Author Email:zhaoyu (AT) caltech.edu
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05162007-123028
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-05162007-123028
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5188
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:18 May 2007
Last Modified:01 Aug 2014 17:20

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PDF (Thesis_C1_Intro_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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PDF (Thesis_C2_Fabrication_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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PDF (Thesis_C3_Microdisk_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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PDF (Thesis_C4_PC_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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PDF (Thesis_C5_DyeDFB_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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PDF (Thesis_C6_Tunability_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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PDF (Thesis_C7_CircularDFBDye_20070515.pdf) - Final Version
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