Abstract

We have seen a lot of unique features off vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs), such as low power consumption, wafer-level testing, small packaging capability, and so on. The market of VCSELs has been growing up rapidly in recent years and they are now the key devices in local area networks using multi-mode optical fibers. In addition, new functions on VCSELs have been demonstrated. In this paper, the recent advances of VCSEL photonics will be reviewed, which include the wavelength engineering and the athermal operation based on microelectro mechanical system (MEMS) technologies. Also, this paper explores the potential and challenges for new functions of VCSELs, including high-speed control of optical phase, slow light devices, plasmonic VCSELs, and so on.

© 2008 Chinese Optics Letters

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