Vertical-injection, surface-emitting laser diodes (SELD) have been plagued by severe heating problems because of the high resistance of multilayer mirrors.1,2 The joule heating limits the achievable output power, broadens the linewidth for pulsed operation, and may also reduce the operating life. We report the results of investigations on the transient heating and series resistance of a vertical microcavity surface- emitting (VMSE) laser. Transient temperature broadening of the lasing spectrum and chirping of the I-V characteristic are analyzed both experimentally and theoretically.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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