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18 February 2013 Automated assembly of VECSEL components
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Due to the architectural advantage of an external cavity architecture that enables the integration of additional elements into the cavity (e.g. for mode control, frequency conversion, wavelength tuning or passive mode-locking) VECSELs are a rapidly developing laser technology. Nevertheless they often have to compete with direct (edge) emitting laser diodes which can have significant cost advantages thanks to their rather simple structure and production processes. One way to compensate the economical disadvantages of VECSELs is to optimize each component in terms of quality and costs and to apply more efficient (batch) production processes. In this context, the paper presents recent process developments for the automated assembly of VECSELs using a new type of desktop assembly station with an ultra-precise micromanipulator. The core concept is to create a dedicated process development environment from which implemented processes can be transferred fluently to production equipment. By now two types of processes have been put into operation on the desktop assembly station: 1.) passive alignment of the pump optics implementing a camera-based alignment process, where the pump spot geometry and position on the semiconductor chip is analyzed and evaluated; 2.) active alignment of the end mirror based on output power measurements and optimization algorithms. In addition to the core concept and corresponding hardware and software developments, detailed results of both processes are presented explaining measurement setups as well as alignment strategies and results.
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C. Brecher, N. Pyschny, S. Haag, and T. Mueller "Automated assembly of VECSEL components", Proc. SPIE 8606, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) III, 86060I (18 February 2013);

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