4 March 2016 High-efficiency VCSEL arrays for illumination and sensing in consumer applications
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Abstract
There has been increased interest in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for illumination and sensing in the consumer market, especially for 3D sensing ("gesture recognition") and 3D image capture. For these applications, the typical wavelength range of interest is 830~950nm and power levels vary from a few milli-Watts to several Watts. The devices are operated in short pulse mode (a few nano-seconds) with fast rise and fall times for time-of-flight applications (ToF), or in CW/quasi-CW for structured light applications. In VCSELs, the narrow spectrum and its low temperature dependence allows the use of narrower filters and therefore better signal-to-noise performance, especially for outdoor applications. In portable devices (mobile devices, wearable devices, laptops etc.) the size of the illumination module (VCSEL and optics) is a primary consideration. VCSELs offer a unique benefit compared to other laser sources in that they are "surface-mountable" and can be easily integrated along with other electronics components on a printed circuit board (PCB). A critical concern is the power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of the illumination source operating at high temperatures (>50 deg C). We report on various VCSEL based devices and diffuser-integrated modules with high efficiency at high temperatures. Over 40% PCE was achieved in broad temperature range of 0-70 °C for either low power single devices or high power VCSEL arrays, with sub- nano-second rise and fall time. These high power VCSEL arrays show excellent reliability, with extracted mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) of over 500 years at 60 °C ambient temperature and 8W peak output.
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Jean-Francois Seurin, Delai Zhou, Guoyang Xu, Alexander Miglo, Daizong Li, Tong Chen, Baiming Guo, Chuni Ghosh, "High-efficiency VCSEL arrays for illumination and sensing in consumer applications", Proc. SPIE 9766, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XX, 97660D (4 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2213295; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213295
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