High power diode lasers are used in a large number of applications. A limiting factor for more widespread use of broad area lasers is the poor beam quality. Gain guided tapered diode lasers are ideal candidates for industrial applications that demands watt level output power with good beam quality. By adapting a bar geometry, the output power could be scaled even up to several tens of watts. Unfortunately, the high divergence which is a characteristic feature of the bar geometry could lead to a degradation of the overall beam quality of the laser bar. However, spectral beam combining is an effective solution for preserving the beam quality of the bar in the range of that of a single emitter and at the same time, enabling the power scaling. We report spectral beam combining applied to a 12 emitter tapered laser bar at 980 nm. The external cavity has been designed for a wavelength separation of 4.0 nm between the emitters. An output power of 9 W has been achieved at an operating current of 30 A. The combined beam had an M2 value (1/e2) of 5.3 along the slow axis which is comparable to that of a single tapered emitter on the laser bar. The overall beam combining efficiency was measured to be 63%. The output spectrum of the individual emitters was narrowed considerably. In the free running mode, the individual emitters displayed a broad spectrum of the order of 0.5-1.0 nm while the spectral width has been reduced to 30-100 pm in the spectral beam combining mode.
Proceedings of Spie--the International Society for Optical Engineering, 2010
Main Research Area:
Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics IV, 2010
SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering