Since its invention in 1962, the semiconductor laser has come a long way. Advances in material purity and epitaxial growth techniques have led to a variety of semiconductor lasers covering a wide wavelength range of 0. 3- 100 ILm. The development during the 1970s of GaAs semiconductor lasers, emitting in the near-infrared region of 0. 8--0. 9 ILm, resulted in their use for the first generation of optical fiber communication systems. However, to take advantage of low losses in silica fibers occurring around 1. 3 and 1. 55 ILm, the emphasis soon shifted toward long-wavelength semiconductor lasers. The material system of choice in this wavelength range has been the quaternary alloy InGaAsP. During the last five years or so, the intense development effort devoted to InGaAsP lasers has resulted in a technology mature enough that lightwave transmission systems using InGaAsP lasers are currently being deployed throughout the world. This book is intended to provide a comprehensive account of long-wave length semiconductor lasers. Particular attention is paid to InGaAsP lasers, although we also consider semiconductor lasers operating at longer wave lengths. The objective is to provide an up-to-date understanding of semicon ductor lasers while incorporating recent research results that are not yet available in the book form. Although InGaAsP lasers are often used as an example, the basic concepts discussed in this text apply to all semiconductor lasers, irrespective of their wavelengths.
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