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Processing and characterisation of II-VI ZnCdMgSe thin film gain structures

Jones, Brynmor E. and Schlosser, Peter J. and De Jesus, Joel and Garcia, Thor A. and Tamargo, Maria C. and Hastie, Jennifer E. (2015) Processing and characterisation of II-VI ZnCdMgSe thin film gain structures. Thin Solid Films, 590. pp. 84-89. ISSN 0040-6090

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Lattice-matched II-VI selenide quantum well (QW) structures grown on InP substrates can be designed for emission throughout the visible spectrum. InP has, however, strong visible-light absorption, so that a method for epitaxial lift-off and transfer to transparent substrates is desirable for vertically-integrated devices. We have designed and grown, via molecular beam epitaxy, ZnCdSe/ZnCdMgSe multi-QW gain regions for vertical emission, with the QWs positioned for resonant periodic gain. The release of the 2.7 μm-thick ZnCdSe/ZnCdMgSe multi-QW film is achieved via selective wet etching of the substrate and buffer layers leaving only the epitaxial layers, which are subsequently transferred to transparent substrates, including glass and thermally-conductive diamond. Post-transfer properties are investigated, with power and temperature-dependent surface and edge-emitting photoluminescence measurements demonstrating no observable strain relaxation effects or significant shift in comparison to unprocessed samples. The temperature dependant quantum well emission shift is found experimentally to be 0.13 nm/K. Samples capillary-bonded epitaxial-side to glass exhibited a 6 nm redshift under optical pumping of up to 35 mW at 405 nm, corresponding to a 46 K temperature increase in the pumped region; whereas those bonded to diamond exhibited no shift in quantum well emission, and thus efficient transfer of the heat from the pumped region. Atomic force microscopy analysis of the etched surface reveals a root-mean-square roughness of 3.6 nm. High quality optical interfaces are required to establish a good thermal and optical contact for high power optically pumped laser applications.