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Proceedings Paper

Performance limitation and mitigation of longitudinal spatial hole burning in high-power diode lasers
Author(s): Zhigang Chen; Ling Bao; John Bai; Mike Grimshaw; Rob Martinsen; Mark DeVito; Jim Haden; Paul Leisher
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Paper Abstract

Facets of high-power broad area diode lasers are typically coated with one high-reflecting and one partially reflecting layer to improve slope efficiency and maximize output power. The typical cavity lengths of commercial devices have also been progressively increasing, mainly to reduce temperature rise at the active region and improve laser performance and reliability. The asymmetric reflectivities and long cavity length, however, result in a highly inhomogeneous longitudinal profile of the photon density, which induces a spatially non-uniform carrier distribution, so-called longitudinal spatial hole burning (LSHB). A more uniform longitudinal photon and carrier distribution is believed to improve the overall gain of the cavity and reduce gain saturation, although further study is required to understand the impact of LSHB to power efficiency and its implication in laser design optimization to achieve higher peak powers. We present a phenomenological model that incorporates LSHB to describe longitudinal photon and carrier density inhomogeneity, as well as light-current characteristics of a diode laser. The impact of LSHB on the power efficiency is demonstrated through numerical calculation and can be significant under high-power operations. This presents new guidelines for high-power diode laser designs, in which LSHB imposes limits on reducing facet reflectivity and/or increasing cavity length, beyond which performance deteriorates. Alternatively, effects of LSHB can be mitigated through longitudinal patterning of the waveguide or contact to achieve high-power and high-efficiency diode lasers. We propose specially designed longitudinal patterning of electrical contact to mitigate LSHB. Ongoing device implementation will be used to demonstrate performance benefits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8277, Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XI, 82771J (9 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.909524
Show Author Affiliations
Zhigang Chen, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
Ling Bao, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
John Bai, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
Mike Grimshaw, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
Rob Martinsen, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
Mark DeVito, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
Jim Haden, nLIGHT Corp. (United States)
Paul Leisher, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8277:
Novel In-Plane Semiconductor Lasers XI
Alexey A. Belyanin; Peter M. Smowton, Editor(s)

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