Near-Field Optical Studies of Semiconductor Heterostructures and Laser Diodes

B. B. Goldberg, M. S. Ünlü, W. D. Herzog, H. F. Ghaemi, E. Towe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Near-field optical microscopy and spectroscopy is emerging as a powerful tool for the investigation of semiconductor structures. Tunable excitation combined with sub-wavelength resolution is providing an unprecedented level of detail on the local optical properties of semiconductor structures. Recent near-field optical studies have addressed issues of laser diode mode profiling, minority carrier transport, near-field photocurrent response of quantum-well structures and laser diodes, imaging of local waveguide properties, and location and studies of dislocations in semiconductor thin films. We present results on the intrinsic resolution limitations of near-field photoconductivity in quantum-well heterostructures and demonstrate that the resolution depends strongly on the amount of evanescent and propagating field components in the semiconductor. Spectroscopic mode-profiling of high-power laser diode emission details the spatial dependence of multiple spectral modes. This paper presents an overview of NSOM techniques for semiconductor systems, its limitations, and present status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1081
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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