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In this laboratory experiment, we assessed the quality of a laser diode. We examined the output light power with varying input current. Important characteristic parameters such as threshold current were of particular interest. We also examined the change in Power vs. Input current with varying temperature. Theoretical values and concepts were briefly studied before the experiment was conducted. One of the main parameters looked for in this lab experiment was the threshold current. This is injected current value after which the output light intensity steadily increases. The threshold current separates the spontaneous emission radiation caused by low input current and stimulated radiation emission caused by higher injection current. A figure of merit for laser diodes is the slope of the Intensity vs. input current slope. This shows how sharply the lasing action begins at low intensities and currents. Another important figure is the external quantum efficiency, which described how much of the injected electron hole pairs form photons. The quantum efficiency can be calculated by finding the power to injection current ratio at a small delta, and then finding the h*c/q* and finding the ratio of the two. Another important characteristic feature noticed was the temperature dependence of the power to injection current curve. It is predicted in semiconductor theory that increase in temperature will result in a loss of quantum efficiency and an increase in thermal stability. At higher values of temperature we are expecting to see proportionately lower output.


Data and Graphs: Graphs: The following is the Output power vs. Input current measurements taken at 25.3 degree Celsius.

Output Power (nW) vs. Input current (mA)

1.40E+04 1.20E+04 1.00E+04 8.00E+03 6.00E+03 4.00E+03 2.00E+03 0.00E+00 0 5 10 15 20 25
25.3 C

The following is the data for the output power vs. input current for various temperatures. Notice the difference in the curves.
2.00E+04 1.80E+04 1.60E+04 1.40E+04 1.20E+04 1.00E+04 8.00E+03 6.00E+03 4.00E+03 2.00E+03 0.00E+00 0 5 10 15 20 25

25.3 Series2
Series3 22 C

27 C Series1

Note: For all the graphs, the input current has been measured in milliamps and the output power has been measured in Nano watts.

Data: mA nW nW nW

0.1 0.2 0.3 0.5 1 1.5 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

7.80E-03 4.24E-02 8.62E-02 2.60E-01 1.12E+00 2.82E+00 5.16E+00 1.42E+01 2.82E+01 4.75E+01 7.29E+01 1.04E+02 1.39E+02 1.83E+02 2.32E+02 2.92E+02 3.63E+02 4.47E+02 5.55E+02 6.83E+02 8.64E+02 1.11E+03 1.62E+03 2.74E+03 1.15E+04

8.90E-03 6.50E-03 5.50E-02 3.13E-02 9.00E-02 5.01E-02 2.44E-01 0.26 1.11E+00 1.02 2.47E+00 1.51 5.26E+00 5.2 1.40E+01 13.9 2.87E+01 27.7 4.89E+01 47.3 7.40E+01 72.4 1.06E+02 102.8 1.43E+02 137 1.89E+02 179 2.39E+02 226 2.98E+02 282 3.74E+02 351 4.60E+02 428 5.78E+02 530 7.17E+02 658 9.20E+02 798 1.25E+03 1011 1.83E+03 1320 4.18E+03 1980 1.73E+04 4680


Therefore as expected, we found that the relation between input current and laser output is somewhat of a straight line, punctuated by a threshold current level. We also found that the lower the temperature, the better the performance of the laser diode. We found that there is somewhat of a threshold current after which the intensity of output light increases dramatically. We also saw a decrease in quantum efficiency (slope of the Intensity vs. input current) curve as temperature increased. Since the experimental results are congruent with semiconductor theory, it can be said that this experiment involving testing the laser diode was a success.