The impact of external feedback on high-power diode laser degradation is studied. For this purpose early stages of gradual degradation are prepared by accelerated aging of 808-nm-emitting AlGaAs-based devices. While the quantum well that actually experiences the highest total optical load remains unaffected, severe impact is observed to the cladding layers and the waveguide. Consequently hardening of diode lasers for operation under external optical feedback must necessarily involve claddings and waveguide, into which the quantum well is embedded.
Proceedings of Spie, the International Society for Optical Engineering, 2013, Vol 8605