Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers with Continuous Wave Operation

Tech ID: 29210 / UC Case 2018-250-0

Brief Description

An m-plane VCSEL with an active region that has thick quantum wells and operation in continuous wave.


Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are semiconductor laser diodes that emit light normal to the substrate. This design has many advantages over edge-emitting lasers and light-emitting diodes, such as low threshold current, circular mode profile, high-speed direct modulation, ability for single longitudinal mode operation, and two-dimensional arraying capability. As opposed to arsenide and phosphide-based devices, electrically-injected III-nitride VCSELs have been relatively difficult to create, and only eight research groups have successfully demonstrated these devices in the past decade. While most of the reports have been on c-plane, m-plane VCELs have been demonstrated and have many advantages, such as lack of the quantum confined Stark effect, higher material gain, and anisotropic gain that leads to 100% polarization ratio. However, m-plane VCSEL devices have not been able to achieve continuous wave operation.


Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have created an m-plane VCSEL with an active region that has thick quantum wells and operation in continuous wave. This is the first report of a VCSEL capable of continuous wave operation. Thicker quantum wells (QWs) are possible on semipolar of nonpolar m-plane GaN, in contrast with standard c-plane GaN. These devices have improved thermal performance and a longer cavity length.


  • III-nitride VCSEL with continuous wave operation
  • 100% polarized VCSEL emission


  • VCSELs
  • AR/VR
  • High-resolution displays
  • LiFi
  • Visible wavelength LIDAR

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 11,532,922 12/20/2022 2018-250


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Other Information


indfeat, VCSELs, LiFi, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, quantum wells, m-plane, semiconductors

Categorized As

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