15 February 2018 Commercial mode-locked vertical external cavity surface emitting lasers
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This paper presents the latest efforts in the development of commercial optically-pumped semiconductor disk lasers (SDLs) at M Squared Lasers. Two types of SDLs are currently being developed: an ultrafast system and a continuous wave single frequency system under the names of Dragonfly and Infinite, respectively. Both offer a compact, low-cost, easy-to-use and maintenance-free tool for a range of growing markets including nonlinear microscopy and quantum technology. To facilitate consumer uptake of the SDL technology, the performance specifications aim to closely match the currently employed systems.

An extended Dragonfly system is being developed targeting the nonlinear microscopy market, which typically requires 1-W average power pulse trains with pulse durations below 200 fs. The pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of the commonly used laser systems, typically Titanium-sapphire lasers, is 80 MHz. This property is particularly challenging for mode-locked SDLs which tend to operate at GHz repetition rates, due to their short upper state carrier lifetime. Dragonfly has found a compromise at 200 MHz to balance mode-locking instabilities with a low PRF. In the ongoing development of Dragonfly, additional pulse compression and nonlinear spectral broadening stages are used to obtain pulse durations as short as 130 fs with an average power of 0.85 W, approaching the required performance.

A variant of the Infinite system was adapted to provide a laser source suitable for the first stage of Sr atom cooling at 461 nm. Such a source requires average powers of approximately 1 W with a sub-MHz linewidth. As direct emission in the blue is not a viable approach at this stage, an SDL emitting at 922 nm followed by an M Squared Lasers SolTiS ECD-X doubler is currently under development. The SDL oscillator delivered >1 W of single frequency (RMS frequency noise <150kHz) light at 922 nm.
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
C. Robin Head, C. Robin Head, David Paboeuf, David Paboeuf, Tiago Ortega, Tiago Ortega, Walter Lubeigt, Walter Lubeigt, Bartlomiej Bialkowski, Bartlomiej Bialkowski, Jipeng Lin, Jipeng Lin, Nils Hempler, Nils Hempler, Gareth T. Maker, Gareth T. Maker, Graeme P. A. Malcolm, Graeme P. A. Malcolm, } "Commercial mode-locked vertical external cavity surface emitting lasers", Proc. SPIE 10515, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VIII, 105150S (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2290724; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290724

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