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CC1.02 - InGaN-Based Laser Diodes: Physical Origin of Gradual and Catastrophic Degradation 
April 7, 2015   8:30am - 9:00am

Over the last few years, the research in the field of InGaN-based laser diodes has shown impressive advancements: these devices can currently cover the wavelength range between 375 nm and 530 nm, and are expected to find wide application in the next generation projectors, optical data storage systems, and biomedical devices. Moreover, it has been recently demonstrated that blue InGaN lasers can be used for the fabrication of high-intensity white lamps, for application in the automotive field. Most of these applications require high optical power levels (>0.25-1 W for the single laser diode): as a result, the devices are driven under extreme conditions; typical current densities can be in excess of 10 kA/cm2, corresponding to high levels of power dissipation (~50 kW/cm2) and self heating (Tj>100-150 �C). These factors may lead to the early degradation of the laser diodes, since temperature and current act as driving forces for the gradual degradation. This presentation describes the physical mechanisms responsible for the degradation of InGaN-based laser diodes submitted to high current/temperature stress; more specifically, we will discuss the following relevant topics: (i) the degradation of the efficiency of the quantum well region due to the generation of non-radiative centers, and the properties of the related defects; (ii) the changes of the electrical characteristics of the devices induced by the exposure to high temperatures; (iii) the sudden degradation of the laser diodes, due to catastrophic-optical damage and to electrostatic discharges. In addition, we will discuss the role of the various driving forces (temperature, current, optical power) in accelerating the degradation kinetics, and the relation between time-to-failure and material quality. The results described within the presentation will be critically compared to recent papers, to give an exhaustive description of the topic.

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