Spin controlled vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) have several beneficial features, such as threshold reduction and circularly polarized lasing. We previously demonstrated 1-GHz switching between lasing circular polarizations with two opposite directions in a VCSEL based on a (110)-oriented multiple quantum well (MQW) with a degree of circular polarization higher than 0.9 [1]. Shortening the carrier lifetime τc while preserving the electron spin relaxation time τs is a straightforward solution to switching the lasing circular polarizations faster since residual electrons in the MQW deteriorate the degree of spin polarization. We therefore introduced micropost structures in a (110)-MQW. However, we could not measure τs in microposts smaller than 2 μm due to the time resolution of the streak camera (~25 ps) [2]. Although use of the microposts with a fast non-radiative surface recombination is a promising approach for faster polarization switching in spin-controlled VCSELs, it is still unclear if τs in useful post sizes smaller than 2 μm can be kept long. In this work, we measured τc and τs in (110) GaAs/AlGaAs MQW microposts with special attention to those smaller than 2 μm using a pump probe-based time-resolved Kerr rotation (TRKR) technique. We also report the results of rate equation analysis in a micropost VCSEL using the measured τc and τs.

© 2013 IEEE

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