Abstract

A vertical-cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) was invented 30 years ago. A lot of unique features can be expected, 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 key devices in local area networks using multimode optical fibers. Also, long wavelength VCSELs are currently attracting much interest for use in single-mode fiber metropolitan area and wide area network applications. In addition, a VCSEL-based disruptive technology enables various consumer applications such as a laser mouse and laser printers. In this paper, the recent advance of VCSEL photonics will be reviewed, which include the wavelength extension of single-mode VCSELs and their wavelength integration/control. Also, this paper explores the potential and challenges for new functions of VCSELs toward optical signal processing.

© 2006 IEEE

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