Generic picture of the emission properties of III-nitride polariton laser diodes: Steady state and current modulation response
The main emission characteristics of electrically driven polariton lasers based on planar GaN microcavities with embedded InGaN quantum wells are studied theoretically. The polariton emission dependence on pump current density is first modeled using a set of semiclassical Boltzmann equations for the exciton polaritons that are coupled to the rate equation describing the electron-hole plasma population. Two experimentally relevant pumping geometries are considered, namely the direct injection of electrons and holes into the strongly coupled microcavity region and intracavity optical pumping via an embedded light-emitting diode. The theoretical framework allows the determination of the minimum threshold current density J(thr),(min) as a function of lattice temperature and exciton-cavity photon detuning for the two pumping schemes. A J(thr, min) value of 5 and 6 A cm(-2) is derived for the direct injection scheme and for the intracavity optical pumping one, respectively, at room temperature at the optimum detuning. Then an approximate quasianalytical model is introduced to derive solutions for both the steady-state and high-speed current modulation. This analysis makes it possible to show that the exciton population, which acts as a reservoir for the stimulated relaxation process, gets clamped once the condensation threshold is crossed, a behavior analogous to what happens in conventional laser diodes with the carrier density above threshold. Finally, the modulation transfer function is calculated for both pumping geometries and the corresponding cutoff frequency is determined.