The biggest challenge in pumping these materials efficiently is the need for maintaining the narrow gain media absorption band of approximately 0.01nm while greatly increasing power. Typical high power diode lasers achieve spectral widths around 3nm (FWHM) in the near infrared spectrum, but optical gratings may be used internal or external to the cavity to reduce the spectral width. Recently, experimental results have shown yet narrower line widths ranging from picometers at very low power levels to sub-100 picometers for water cooled stacks around 1kW of output power.
The focus of this work is the development of a fiber-based pump system for potassium DPAL. The individual tasks are the development of high power 766nm chip material, a fiber-coupled module as a building block, and a scalable system design to address power requirements from hundreds of watts to tens of kilowatts. Results for a 3kW system achieving ~30GHz bandwidth at 766nm will be shown. Approaches for power-scaling and size reduction will be discussed.