Spectral mapping of multimode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers by near-field scanning optical microscopy

Kevin J. Knopp*, David H. Christensen, Greg Vander Rhodes, Josh M. Pomeroy, Bennett B. Goldberg, M. Selim Unlu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We have studied the spatial and spectral characteristics of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) emission using near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). We report the multi-transverse-mode characteristics of 15 μm diameter proton-implanted 850 nm devices used in 2 Gbit/s multimode fiber-optic links. Spectrally resolved and integrated intensity scans over a 20×20 μm area were performed. The intensity of each resolvable transverse mode was integrated and its wavelength range false-colored at each scan position. The resulting composite image displays relative intensity and spatial distribution information for each transverse mode. Correlation with the shear force data allows mapping of the optical distributions to topographical features. Lasing filaments were observed at high drive currents. Gain competition among spatially overlapping transverse modes was observed while spatially isolated modes coexisted without competition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Testing, Packaging, Reliability, and Applications of Semiconductor Lasers IV - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 28 1999Jan 28 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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