Compact sources for the generation of high-peak power wavelength stabilized laser pulses in the picoseconds and nanoseconds ranges

H. Wenzel, A. Klehr, S. Schwertfeger, A. Liero, Th. Hoffmann, O. Brox, M. Thomas, G. Erbert, G. Tränkle

Published in:

Proc. SPIE, vol. 8241, no. 82410V (2012).

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Abstract:

Diode lasers are ideally suited for the generation of optical pulses in the nanoseconds and picoseconds ranges by gainswitching, Q-switching or mode-locking. We have developed diode-laser based light sources where the pulses are spectrally stabilized and nearly-diffraction limited as required by many applications. Diffraction limited emission is achieved by a several microns wide ridge waveguide (RW), so that only the fundamental lateral mode should lase. Spectral stabilization is realized with a Bragg grating integrated into the semiconductor chip, resulting in distributed feedback (DFB) or distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) lasers. We obtained a peak power of 3.8W for 4ns long pulses using a gain-switched DFB laser and a peak power of more than 4W for 65ps long pulses using a three-section DBR laser. Higher peak powers of several tens of Watts can be reached by an amplification of the pulses with semiconductor optical amplifiers, which can be either monolithically or hybrid integrated with the master oscillators. We developed compact modules with a footprint of 4×5cm2 combining master oscillator, tapered power amplifier, beam-shaping optical elements and high-frequency electronics. In order to diminish the generation of amplified spontaneous emission between the pulses, the amplifier is modulated with short-pulses of high amplitude, too. Beyond the amplifier, we obtained a peak power of more than 10W for 4ns long pulses, a peak power of about 35W for 80ps long pulses and a peak power of 70W for 10ps long pulses at emission wavelengths around 1064nm.

Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Straße 4, D-12489 Berlin, Germany

Keywords:

gain switching, Q-switching, mode-locking.