This paper reviews the fabrication technology and performance characteristics of optically pumped and electrically pumped GaN-based vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The lasing action of optically pumped hybrid GaN-based VCSELs has been observed at room temperature due to the employment of high-quality and high-reflectivity AlN/GaN-based distributed Bragg reflectors in the VCSEL structure. Based on the device structure of the optically pumped hybrid GaN-based VCSELs, we further achieved the lasing action of electrically pumped GaN-based VCSELs under continuous-wave operation at 77 K. The laser has a threshold injection current of 1.4 mA and emits a blue wavelength at 462 nm together with a narrow linewidth of about 0.15 nm. The laser beam has a divergence angle of about 11.7 degrees with a polarization ratio of 80%. A very strong spontaneous coupling efficiency of 7.5 x 10(-2) was measured.
IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS