Elimination of catastrophic optical mirror damage in continuous-wave high-power laser diodes using multi-section waveguides

Date
2022-08-29
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Source Title
Optics Express
Print ISSN
10944087
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Optica Publishing Group (formerly OSA)
Volume
30
Issue
18
Pages
31539 - 31549
Language
English
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Abstract

One of the persistent obstacles for high-power laser diodes (LDs) has been the catastrophic optical mirror damage (COMD), which limits the operating power level and lifetime of commercial high-power LDs. The output facet of LD reaches a critical temperature resulting in COMD, which is an irreversible device failure. Here, we fabricate multi-section LDs by tailoring the waveguide structure along the cavity that separates the output facet from the heat-generating lasing region. In this method, the LD waveguide is divided into electrically isolated laser and window sections along the cavity. The laser section is pumped at a high current to achieve high output power, and the window is biased at a low current with negligible heat generation. This design restricts the thermal impact of the laser section on the facet, and the window section allows lossless transport of the laser to the output facet. The lasers were operated continuous-wave up to the maximum achievable power. While standard LDs show COMD failures, the multi-section waveguide LDs are COMD-free. Our technique and results provide a pathway for high-reliability LDs, which would find diverse applications in semiconductor lasers. © 2022 Optica Publishing Group under the terms of the Optica Open Access Publishing Agreement.

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