Growth and fabrication of GaN/Er:GaN/GaN core-cladding planar waveguides

Z. Y. Sun, Y. Q. Yan, T. B. Smith, W. P. Zhao, J. Li, J. Y. Lin, H. X. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Erbium doped gallium nitride (Er:GaN) bulk crystals have emerged as a promising optical gain material for high energy lasers (HELs) operating at the 1.5 μm "retina-safe" spectral region. Among the many designs of HEL gain medium, the core-cladding planar waveguide (PWG) structure is highly desired due to its abilities to provide excellent optical confinement and heat dissipation. We report the realization of a GaN/Er:GaN/GaN core-cladding PWG structure synthesized by hydride vapor phase epitaxy and processed by mechanical and chemical-mechanical polishing. An Er doping concentration of [Er] = 3 × 1019 atoms/cm3 has been attained in the core layer, as confirmed by secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements. A strong 1.54 μm emission line was detected from the structure under 980 nm resonant excitation. It was shown that these PWGs can achieve a 96% optical confinement in the Er:GaN core layer having a thickness of 50 μm and [Er] = 3 × 1019 atoms/cm3. This work represents an important step toward the realization of practical Er:GaN gain medium for retina-safe HEL applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number222105
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019


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