Progress in increasing the maximum achievable output power of broad area diode lasers
Proc. SPIE, vol. 8241, no. 82410U (2012).
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High power broad area diode lasers provide the optical energy for all high performance laser systems, either directly or as pump sources for solid-state lasers. Continuous improvement is required in the peak achievable output power of these diode laser devices in order to enable performance improvements in full laser systems. In recent years, device technology has advanced to the point where the main limit to optical power is no longer device failure, but is instead power saturation due to various physical effects within the semiconductor device itself. For example, the combination of large optical cavity designs with advanced facet passivation means that facet failure is no longer the dominant limiting factor. Increases in the optical power therefore require firstly a clear identification of the limiting mechanisms, followed by design changes and material improvements to address these. Recent theoretical and experimental diagnostic studies at the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut have helped trace the saturation effects to three main effects: gain saturation, longitudinal-holeburning and current driven carrier leakage. Design changes based on these studies have enabled increases in the achievable emitted power density from broad area lasers. Recent experimental examples include ≈100W from 100µm stripes under short-pulsed conditions, > 30W from 100µm stripes under quasi-continuous wave conditions and > 10W from 30µm stripes under continuous wave conditions. An overview of the results of the diagnostic studies performed at the FBH will be presented, and the design changes necessary to address the observed power saturation will be discussed.
Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Straße 4, D-12489 Berlin, Germany
diode lasers, high optical power, broad area, high efficiency.