The emergence of miniature light sources such as the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) is poised to advance the information age. The development of VCSELs has stimulated a wide range of materials research into epitaxial growth and device-fabrication technologies. In this article, current and emerging applications that are guiding the commercial development of VCSELs are first considered, followed by discussions of the VCSEL epitaxial structure and fabrication technologies. This brief overview will also mention recent efforts aimed at achieving long-wavelength VCSELs grown on GaAs substrates, as well as approaches for achieving a high modulation rate.
Kent D. Choquette is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests center on the design, fabrication, and characterization of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and other optoelectronic devices. His research activities also involve novel fabrication technologies, hybrid integration techniques, and nanofabrication. Choquette received BS degrees in engineering physics and applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1984 and MS and PhD degrees in materials science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1985 and 1990, respectively. From 1990 to 1992, he held a postdoctoral appointment at AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, N.J., and in 1993 he joined Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. He joined the faculty of UIUC in 2000. From 2000 until this year, he was an IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) Distinguished Lecturer. He has authored over 100 publications and two book chapters and has presented numerous invited talks and tutorials on VCSELs. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Quantum Electronics and is a senior member of IEEE/LEOS and a member of the Optical Society of America (OSA).
Choquette can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.