Image Number 5 for United States Patent #6674778.
A highly efficient, electrically pumped edge-emitting semiconductor laser based on a one- or two-dimensional photonic bandgap (PBG) structure is described. The laser optical cavity is formed using a pair of PBG mirrors operating in the photonic band gap regime. Transverse confinement is achieved by surrounding an active semiconductor layer of high refractive index with lower-index cladding layers. The cladding layers can be electrically insulating in the passive PBG mirror and waveguide regions with a small conducting aperture for efficient channeling of the injection pump current into the active region. The active layer can comprise a quantum well structure. The quantum well structure can be relaxed in the passive regions to provide efficient extraction of laser light from the active region.