High power, high beam quality laser source with narrow, stable spectra based on truncated-tapered semiconductor amplifier

X. Wang, G. Erbert, H. Wenzel, P. Crump, B. Eppich, S. Knigge, P. Ressel, A. Ginolas, A. Maaßdorf, and G. Tränkle

Published in:

Proc. SPIE, vol. 8605, Photonics West, San Francisco, USA, Feb. 02-07, 86050G (2013).

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Abstract:

High power diode lasers are increasingly important in many industrial applications. However, an ongoing challenge is to simultaneously obtain high output power, diffraction-limited beam quality and narrow spectral width. One approach to fulfill these requirements is to use a "master oscillator - power amplifier (MOPA)" system. We present recent data on MOPAs using PA designs that have low confinement factor (1%), leading to low modal gain, and low optical loss (<0.5cm-1). Quantum barriers with low refractive index are used to reduce the optical waveguiding due to the active region, which should decrease susceptibility to filament formation. A truncated tapered lateral design was used. Conventional tapered designs have a ridge waveguide (RW) at the entrance of the devices with etched cavity- spoiling grooves at the transition to the tapered gain region. Our amplifier used a truncated tapered design with no RW entrance section. We show that for this approach cavity-spoiling grooves are not necessary, and achieve improved performance when they are omitted, which we attribute to the filament insensitivity of our structure. High beam quality was achieved from a 970nm amplifier with M2 (1/e2) = 1.9, with efficiency of >48% in QCW condition, and >17W diffraction-limited beam maintained in the central lobe. The impact of the in-plane geometrical design was assessed and we show that large surface area is advantageous for device performance. The spectral properties of the amplifier replicated that of the DBRtapered laser, which is used as the master oscillator, with a spectral width of <30pm (FWHM). Design options for further increases in power are presented.

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

Keywords:

semiconductor optical amplifier, high power, near-diffraction-limited beam quality, narrow stable spectra.