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Optoelectronic components can be readily classified as active light-emitting components (such as semiconductor lasers and light emitting diodes), electrically active but non-emitting components, and inactive components. This chapter focuses on the first category, and particularly on semiconductor lasers. The discussion begins with the basics of semiconductor lasers and the material science behind some causes of device failure. It then covers some of the common failure mechanisms, highlighting the need to identify failures as wearout or maverick failures. The chapter also covers the capabilities of many key optoelectronic failure analysis tools. The final section describes the common steps that should be followed so as to assure product reliability of optoelectronic components.

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