We report on design, manufacturing, and characterization of densely packed top-emitting 16 × 16 elements wire-bonded matrix-addressable vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays, which may find future applications such as non-mechanical particle movement with optical multi-tweezers, confocal microscopy or free-space communications with beam steering capability. The factors that control the packing density such as layer structure, mask design, and VCSEL processing are investigated, aiming to minimize the pitch between VCSELs in the array. Both wet-etched and dry-etched arrays are presented and discussed. The single transverse mode VCSELs in the two-dimensional (2-D) matrix-addressable architecture have threshold currents which vary from 0.5 to 1.6 mA and maximum output powers between 2.4 and 4 mW. A simple analysis of the parasitic ohmic resistances is made.
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