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13 March 2015 Mechanisms driving the catastrophic optical damage in high-power laser diodes
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The catastrophic optical damage (COD) of laser diodes consists of the sudden drop off of the optical power. COD is generally associated with a thermal runaway mechanism in which the active zone of the laser is molten in a positive feedback process. The full sequence of the degradation follows different phases: in the first phase, a weak zone of the laser is incubated and the temperature is locally increased there; when a critical temperature is reached the thermal runaway process takes place. Usually, the positive feedback leading to COD is circumscribed to the sequential enhancement of the optical absorption in a process driven by the increase of the temperature. However, the meaning of the critical temperature has not been unambiguously established. Herein, we will discuss about the critical temperature, and the physical mechanisms involved in this process. The influence of the progressive deterioration of the thermal conductivity of the laser structure as a result of the degradation during the laser operation will be addressed.
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J. Souto, J. L. Pura, M. Rodríguez, J. Anaya, Alfredo Torres, and J. Jimenéz "Mechanisms driving the catastrophic optical damage in high-power laser diodes", Proc. SPIE 9348, High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications XIII, 93480O (13 March 2015);

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