• Technical Conference: 

    09 – 14 May 2021

  • Exhibition: 

    10 – 14 May 2021

SC481 - Fundamentals and Applications of VCSELs: Billion $/Year and Growing Enterprise

Sunday, 09 May
13:00 - 17:00

Short Course Level: Beginner


Kent Choquette, Univ. of Illinois, USA

Short Course Materials

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Access to Short Course Materials

Access to the short course materials, including the link to join the event on zoom will be available 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start and up to 60 minutes after the scheduled end.

Short Course Description:

Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) were invented forty years ago, became a mainstream active photonic component more than 20 years ago, and today represent the highest volume of manufactured semiconductor lasers in the world with greater than $1B/yr market. This course will cover the principles of VCSEL operation, the technological advances in VCSEL technology, as well as the major application areas of VCSELs. The course will begin with an overview of microcavity laser fundamentals and will include discussions of pn junctions, semiconductor optical gain, Fabry-Perot resonators, electron and photon confinement, and the properties of VCSEL emission. The second half of the course will overview the major application areas of VCSELs and will include digital intensity modulation, both incoherent and coherent high power 2-dimensional array performance, and various examples of optical sensing. Specific examples of infrared and visible VCSEL performance will be included as well as the commercial VCSEL manufacturing landscape.

Short Course Benefits:

This course should enable participants to:

  • List the necessary components of a laser.
  • Describe the stimulated emission process within a semiconductor junction.
  • Define the spectral dependence of semiconductor optical gain.
  • List the requirements for the epitaxial VCSEL structure.
  • Describe the optical modes and polarization of VCSEL emission
  • Describe the intensity modulation properties of VCSELs
  • Specify the requirements for high power 2-dimensional VCSEL arrays
  • Describe the operation principles for VCSEL optical sensing
  • Summarize the status of VCSEL manufacture and applications
Short Course Audience:

This course is directed towards advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, application developers, and patent attorneys who may have some but limited experience with semiconductor lasers or other optoelectronic technologies, and are interested in the state-of-the-art of VCSEL performance as well as the major application areas of VCSELs. Attendees of prior courses on semiconductor lasers or VCSELs will find substantial updates and new information and are encouraged to attend again.

Instructor Biography:

Kent D. Choquette earned degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2000 he has been an ECE faculty member at the University of Illinois and is currently the Able Bliss Professor of Engineering. He leads the Photonic Device Research Group with a focus on semiconductor lasers and nanophotonics, nanofabrication technologies, and hybrid integration. Dr. Choquette has been honored by the 2016 SPIE Technology Achievement award, the 2012 OSA Nick Holonyak Jr. Award, and the 2008 IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, OSA, SPIE, and AAAS.