We have developed a scalable and modular diode laser architecture that fulfills these requirements through use of a simple beam shaping concept based on two dimensional stacking of tailored diode bars mounted on specially designed, tap water cooled heat sinks. The base element of the concept is a tailored diode laser bar with an epitaxial and lateral structure designed such that the desired beam quality in slow-axis direction can be realized without using sophisticated beam shaping optics. The optical design concept is based on fast-axis collimator (FAC) and slow-axis collimator (SAC) lenses followed by only one additional focusing optic for efficient coupling into a 400 μm fiber with a numerical aperture (NA) of 0.12.
To fulfill the requirements of scalability and modularity, four tailored bars are populated on a reduced size, tap water cooled heat sink. The diodes on these building blocks are collimated simply via FAC and SAC. The building blocks can be stacked vertically resulting in a two-dimensional diode stack, which enables a compact design of the laser source with minimum beam path length. For a single wavelength, up to eight of these building blocks, implying a total of 32 tailored bars, can be stacked into a submodule, polarization multiplexed, and coupled into a 400 μm, 0.12NA fiber. Scalability into the multi kW region is realized by wavelength combining of replaceable submodules in the spectral range from 900 – 1100 nm. We present results of a laser source based on this architecture with an output power of more than 4 kW and a beam quality of 25 mm x mrad.