Spectral beam combination (SBC) is a promising method to combine multiple fiber outputs for further power scaling with the capability of maintaining high beam quality, but the beam quality will be degraded with spectral linewidth broadening, because it could result in additional angular spread in the output beam. In this paper, we described theoretical calculation as well as experimental investigation on the influence of spectral linewidth broadening on beam quality. The results show that in single SBC system the spectral linewidth should be limited to less than a few GHz in order to avoid beam quality degradation, but the linewidth requirement could be decreased to more than hundreds of GHz using a pair of parallel gratings, which reveals a feasible way to increase the stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS)-free power output of single fiber laser for overall output scaling and high beam quality.
We report a coherent combining of four slab laser amplifiers with high beam quality. The long strip laser beam is reshaped into a square beam using adjustable beam expander which removes the enormous astigmatism aberration. A filling ratio of 90% is achieved by two-dimensional splicing. A compact optical system with high sampling frequency is designed to detect the pointing direction of lasers. Fast steering mirror (FSM) driven by piezoelectric ceramics is applied in laser stabilizing. Thanks to the closed loop pointing control, the root mean square error of the optical axis is significantly reduced to be less than 2 microradians. The piston phases of the lasers are locked by an active phase control system based on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) using stochastic parallel gradient descent (SPGD) algorithm. When the total output power of four lasers is 400W, the in-phase peak intensity of the far field spot is increased by a factor of 3.8, reaching 95% of the ideal case. The beam quality of the combined beam is improved by CBC from 1.52x diffraction limit (DL) to 1.26x DL. When the output power is increased to 805W, the phase locking and pointing control still work stably. The results suggest that CBC of solid-state lasers with higher energy could be achieved by using the techniques presented here.