The choice of the etching depth for semiconductor microcavities is a compromise between a high Q factor and a difficult technique in a practical fabricating process. In this paper, the influences of the etching depth on mode Q factors for mid-infrared quantum cascade microcylinder and microsquare lasers around 4.8 and are simulated by three-dimensional (3D) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) techniques. For the microcylinder and the microsquare resonators, the mode Q factors of the whispering-gallery modes (WGMs) increase exponentially and linearly with the increase in the etching depth, respectively. Furthermore, the mode Q factors of some higher order transverse WGMs may be larger than that of the fundamental transverse WGM in 3D microsquares. Based on the field distribution of the vertical multilayer slab waveguide and the mode Q factors versus the etching depth, the necessary etching depth is chosen at the position where the field amplitude is 1% of the peak value of the slab waveguide. In addition, the influences of sidewall roughness on the mode Q factors are simulated for microsquare resonators by 2D FDTD simulation.
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