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Proceedings Paper

Commercial mode-locked vertical external cavity surface emitting lasers
Author(s): C. Robin Head; David Paboeuf; Tiago Ortega; Walter Lubeigt; Bartlomiej Bialkowski; Jipeng Lin; Nils Hempler; Gareth T. Maker; Graeme P. A. Malcolm
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents the latest efforts in the development of commercial optically-pumped semiconductor disk lasers (SDLs) at M Squared Lasers. Two types of SDLs are currently being developed: an ultrafast system and a continuous wave single frequency system under the names of Dragonfly and Infinite, respectively. Both offer a compact, low-cost, easy-to-use and maintenance-free tool for a range of growing markets including nonlinear microscopy and quantum technology. To facilitate consumer uptake of the SDL technology, the performance specifications aim to closely match the currently employed systems.

An extended Dragonfly system is being developed targeting the nonlinear microscopy market, which typically requires 1-W average power pulse trains with pulse durations below 200 fs. The pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of the commonly used laser systems, typically Titanium-sapphire lasers, is 80 MHz. This property is particularly challenging for mode-locked SDLs which tend to operate at GHz repetition rates, due to their short upper state carrier lifetime. Dragonfly has found a compromise at 200 MHz to balance mode-locking instabilities with a low PRF. In the ongoing development of Dragonfly, additional pulse compression and nonlinear spectral broadening stages are used to obtain pulse durations as short as 130 fs with an average power of 0.85 W, approaching the required performance.

A variant of the Infinite system was adapted to provide a laser source suitable for the first stage of Sr atom cooling at 461 nm. Such a source requires average powers of approximately 1 W with a sub-MHz linewidth. As direct emission in the blue is not a viable approach at this stage, an SDL emitting at 922 nm followed by an M Squared Lasers SolTiS ECD-X doubler is currently under development. The SDL oscillator delivered >1 W of single frequency (RMS frequency noise <150kHz) light at 922 nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2018
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10515, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VIII, 105150S (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2290724
Show Author Affiliations
C. Robin Head, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
David Paboeuf, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Tiago Ortega, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Walter Lubeigt, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Bartlomiej Bialkowski, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Jipeng Lin, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Nils Hempler, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Gareth T. Maker, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Graeme P. A. Malcolm, M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10515:
Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VIII
Juan L. Chilla, Editor(s)

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