Semiconductor lasers employing quantum wire active regions have been the subject of much research, both experimental and theoretical, owing to their promise of improved performance such as reduced threshold currents.1 To date, theoretical calculations of the gain spectra in these structures have uniformly neglected band coupling effects, assuming, in essence, that the light- and heavy-hole bands in the quantum wire may be assumed to be decoupled. However, it has been recently shown that these bands are strongly coupled even at zone-center in the quantum wire, so that the one-band approach is not justified.2 In this paper, we apply a recently developed coupled band formalism to derive the valence subband dispersion relations, density of states functions, interband optical transition matrix elements, and absorption and gain spectra of cylindrical GaAs quantum wires. In addition to providing a sound theoretical basis with which to interpret polarization dependent optical studies, the technique should prove useful in the design of quantum wire lasers.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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