We discuss the key trends in two and three photon microscopy driving new laser technologies. When distilled, these trends are moving down three paths, for mainstream, tunable 2 photon excitation sources, advanced high energy sources for especially for brain imaging and compact, fixed wavelength OEM friendly lasers.
We report what we believe is the first demonstration of a temporal soliton bound state in semiconductor disk laser. The laser was passively mode-locked using a quantum dot based semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (QD-SESAM). Two mode-locking regimes were observed where the laser would emit single or closely spaced double pulses (soliton bound state regime) per cavity round-trip. The pulses in soliton bound state regime were spaced by discrete, fixed time duration. We use a system of delay differential equations to model the dynamics of our device.
Electrically pumped vertical external cavity surface emitting laser is passively mode-locked at record-low repetition rate of 216 MHz demonstrating potential peak power scalability. A quantum dot saturable absorber is used to achieve stable operation.
The latest achievements of quantum dot based semiconductor disk lasers are reviewed. Several lasers operating at 1040
nm - 1260 nm were studied. All the structures were grown with molecular beam epitaxy on GaAs substrates. The
number of quantum dot layers was varied and the gain was provided either by the ground or the excited state transition of
the quantum dots. Frequency doubling of the lasers was demonstrated and the dual-gain laser geometry was found to be
practical solution for intracavity frequency conversion. Intracavity heat spreader and thinned device heat management
approaches are studied and compared.
We present an overview of recent advances in generation of non-diffracting (Bessel) beams from surface-emitting lasers,
such as electrically and optically pumped VECSELs, and discuss their applications in optical trapping/tweezing and
manipulation of micromachines. Our experiments on VECSEL-generated watt power level Bessel beams with central
lobe diameters of a few to tens micrometers suggest that the semiconductor surface-emitting lasers are the best
candidates for replacement of gas and solid-state counterparts for power-demanding applications in optical manipulation.
Novel materials, notably quantum-dot (QD) semiconductor structures offer the unique possibility of combining
exploitable spectral broadening of both gain and absorption with ultrafast carrier dynamic properties. Thanks to these
characteristics QD-based devices have enhanced the properties of ultrashort pulse lasers and opened up new possibilities
in ultrafast science and technology. In this paper we review the recent progress on the development of novel quantumdot
SESAM structures for different lasers. We also demonstrate that QD structures can be designed to provide compact
and efficient ultrashort pulse laser sources with high and low repetition rates.