Corrugated neat thin-film conjugated polymer distributed-feedback lasers
Wave-guided thin-film distributed-feedback (DFB) polymer lasers are fabricated by spin coating a PPV-derived semiconducting polymer, thianthrene-DOO-PPV, onto oxidised silicon wafers with corrugated second-order periodic gratings. The gratings are written by reactive ion beam etching. Laser action is achieved by transverse pumping with picosecond laser pulses (wavelength 347.15 nm, duration 35 ps). The DFB-laser surface emission and edge emission are analysed. Outside the grating region the polymer film is used for comparative wave-guided travelling wave laser (amplified spontaneous emission (ASE)) studies. The pump pulse threshold energy density for wave-guided DFB-laser action (4-9 µJ cm-2) is found to be approximately a factor of two lower than the threshold for wave-guided travelling wave laser action. The spectral width of the DFB laser (down to <Delta><lambda>DFB\approx0.07 nm) is considerably narrower than that of the travelling wave laser (<Delta><lambd a>TWL\approx14 nm). The DFB-laser emission is highly linearly polarised transverse to the grating axis (TE mode). Only at high pump pulse energy densities does an additional weak TM mode build up. The surface-emitted DFB-laser radiation has a low divergence along the grating direction. For both the DFB lasers and the travelling wave lasers, gain saturation occurs at high excitation energy densities.