22 February 2017 Industrial integration of high coherence tunable single frequency semiconductor lasers based on VECSEL technology for scientific instrumentation in NIR and MIR
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Abstract
Laser technology is finding applications in areas such as high resolution spectroscopy, radar-lidar, velocimetry, or atomic clock where highly coherent tunable high power light sources are required. The Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VECSEL) technology [1] has been identified for years as a good candidate to reach high power, high coherence and broad tunability while covering a wide emission wavelength range exploiting III-V semiconductor technologies. Offering such performances in the Near- and Middle-IR range, GaAs- and Sb-based VECSEL technologies seem to be a well suited path to meet the required specifications of demanding applications. Built up in this field, our expertise allows the realization of compact and low power consumption marketable products, with performances that do not exist on the market today in the 0.8-1.1 μm and 2-2.5 μm spectral range.

Here we demonstrate highly coherent broadly tunable single frequency laser micro-chip, intracavity element free, based on a patented VECSEL technology, integrated into a compact module with driving electronics. VECSEL devices emitting in the Near and Middle-IR developed in the frame of this work [2] exhibit exciting features compared to diode-pumped solid-state lasers and DFB diode lasers; they combine high power (>100mW) high temporal coherence together with a low divergence diffraction limited TEM00 beam. They exhibit a class-A dynamics with a Relative Intensity Noise as low as -140dB/Hz and at shot noise level reached above 200MHz RF frequency (up to 160GHz), a free running narrow linewidth at sub MHz level (fundamental limit at Hz level) with high spectral purity (SMSR >55dB), a linear polarization (>50dB suppression ratio), and broadband continuous tunability greater than 400GHz (< 30V piezo voltage, 6kHz cut off frequency) with total tunability up to 3THz. Those performances can all be reached thanks to the high finesse cavity of VECSEL technology, associated to ideal homogeneous QW gain behaviour [3]. In addition, the compact design without any movable intracavity elements offers a robust single frequency regime with a long term wavelength stability better than few GHz/h (ambient thermal drift limited).

Those devices surpass the state of the art commercial technologies thanks to a combination of power-coherence-wavelength tunability performances and integration.
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Vincent Lecocq, Baptiste Chomet, Laurence Ferrières, Mikhaël Myara, Grégoire Beaudoin, Isabelle Sagnes, Laurent Cerutti, Stéphane Denet, Arnaud Garnache, "Industrial integration of high coherence tunable single frequency semiconductor lasers based on VECSEL technology for scientific instrumentation in NIR and MIR", Proc. SPIE 10087, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VII, 1008704 (22 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2253230; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253230
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