Optical and transport characteristics of quantum-cascade lasers with optimized second-harmonic generation

Jing Bai, David S. Citrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present simulations of midinfrared quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) with optimized second-harmonic generation (SHG). The optimized design was obtained utilizing techniques from supersymmetric quantum mechanics with both material-dependent effective mass and band nonparabolicity. Carrier transport and power output of the structure are analyzed by self-consistently solving rate equations for the carriers and photons. Nonunity pumping efficiency from one period of the QCL to the next is taken into account by including all relevant electron-electron and electron-longitudnal (LO) phonon scattering mechanisms between the injector/collector and active regions. Two-photon absorption processes are analyzed for the resonant cascading triple levels designed for enhancing SHG. Both sequential and simultaneous two-photon absorptions are included in the rate-equation model. The current-output characteristics for both structures are analyzed and compared. Stronger resonant tunneling in the optimized structure is manifested by enhanced negative differential resistance. Current-dependent linear optical output power is derived based on the steady-state photon populations in the active region. The second-harmonic-power is derived from the Maxwell equations with the phase mismatch included. Due to stronger coupling between lasing levels, the optimized structure has both higher linear and nonlinear output powers. Phase mismatch effect is significant for both structures leading to a substantial reduction of the linear-to-nonlinear conversion efficiency. The optimized structure can be fabricated through digitally grading the submonolayer alloys by molecular beam epitaxy technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 25, 2006; revised January 23, 2007. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant DMR 0305524. The authors are with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0250 USA (e-mail: jbai@ece.gatech.edu; david.citrin@ece.gatech.edu). Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JQE.2007.893897


  • Intersubband transitions
  • Mid-infrared
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Quantum-cascade laser (QCL)
  • Second-harmonic generation (SHG)
  • Supersymmetric quantum mechanics


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