10 March 2016 Thermal management of VECSELs by front surface direct liquid cooling
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Abstract
Efficient thermal management is vital for VECSELs, affecting the output power and several aspects of performance of the device. Presently there exist two distinct methods of effective thermal management which both possess their merits and disadvantages. Substrate removal of the VECSEL gain chip has proved a successful method in devices emitting at a wavelength near 1μm. However for other wavelengths the substrate removal technique has proved less effective primarily due to the thermal impedance of the distributed Bragg reflectors. The second method of thermal management involves the use of crystalline heat spreaders bonded to the gain chip surface. Although this is an effective thermal management scheme, the disadvantages are additional loss and the etalon effect that filters the gain spectrum, making mode locking more difficult and normally resulting in multiple peaks in the spectrum. There are considerable disadvantages associated with both methods attributed to heatspreader cost and sample processing. It is for these reasons that a proposed alternative, front surface liquid cooling, has been investigated in this project.

Direct liquid cooling involves flowing a temperature-controlled liquid over the sample’s surface. In this project COMSOL was used to model surface liquid cooling of a VECSEL sample in order to investigate and compare its potential thermal management with current standard thermal management techniques. Based on modelling, experiments were carried out in order to evaluate the performance of the technique. While modelling suggests that this is potentially a mid-performance low cost alternative to existing techniques, experimental measurements to date do not reflect the performance predicted from modelling.
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Conor J. C. Smyth, Shamil Mirkhanov, Adrian H. Quarterman, Keith G. Wilcox, "Thermal management of VECSELs by front surface direct liquid cooling", Proc. SPIE 9734, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VI, 973413 (10 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2210863; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2210863
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