15 October 2005 Designing new classes of high-power, high-brightness VECSELs
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Abstract
Optically-pumped vertical external cavity semiconductor lasers offer the exciting possibility of designing kW-class solid state lasers that provide significant advantages over their doped YAG, thin-disk YAG and fiber counterparts. The basic VECSEL/OPSL (optically-pumped semiconductor laser) structure consists of a very thin (approximately 6 micron thick) active mirror consisting of a DBR high-reflectivity stack followed by a multiple quantum well resonant periodic (RPG) structure. An external mirror (reflectivity typically between 94%-98%) provides conventional optical feedback to the active semiconductor mirror chip. The "cold" cavity needs to be designed to take into account the semiconductor sub-cavity resonance shift with temperature and, importantly, the more rapid shift of the semiconductor material gain peak with temperature. Thermal management proves critical in optimizing the device for serious power scaling. We will describe a closed-loop procedure that begins with a design of the semiconductor active epi structure. This feeds into the sub-cavity optimization, optical and thermal transport within the active structure and thermal transport though the various heat sinking elements. Novel schemes for power scaling beyond current record performances will be discussed.
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J. V. Moloney, A. R. Zakharian, J. Hader, Stephan W. Koch, "Designing new classes of high-power, high-brightness VECSELs", Proc. SPIE 5990, Optically Based Materials and Optically Based Biological and Chemical Sensing for Defence II, 599003 (15 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.630864; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.630864
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