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Proceedings Paper

Development of high-brightness high-power fiber laser pump sources
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Paper Abstract

High power fiber lasers have strong potential for use in both commercial and military applications. Improved wall plug efficiency over Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers combined with up to a 10-fold improvement in beam quality, make fiber lasers extremely attractive for industrial applications such as welding and cutting. In military applications, fiber lasers offer a simplified logistic train, a deep magazine limited only by electric power, and a compact footprint, allowing theater defense and self-protection of combat platforms with speed of light engagement and flexible response. Commercial viability of these systems, however, is limited by the availability of compact, cost effective, and reliable diode laser pump sources in the multi-kilowatt regime. The relatively low brightness of diode laser sources has complicated the task of building high power pumps at a reasonable cost. In response to this need, Nuvonyx, Inc. in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been developing a new technology for producing high power, single lateral mode devices which do not suffer form the instabilities mentioned above. The waveguide consists of a narrow section, approximately 2 μm wide, which flares to approximately 12 μm wide at the output facet. The flaring of the waveguide increases the gain volume and reduces the optical power density at the facet allowing for higher output power capability. The index guide is defined using an epitaxial process which allows the confinement of the mode to be reduced as the width of the guide expands. Thus, the mode is confined in a single mode waveguide throughout the cavity maintaining stability of the mode to the emitting facet. In November 2002, Nuvonyx, Inc. was awarded a contract with the Air Force Research Lab, Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM, to transition these devices to production quality for use in high-power fiber laser pumps. Partnered with Alfalight, Inc. and the University of Illinois, we have begun initial device fabrication and testing of these devices with the goal of achieving production quality, long lifetime, 50W bars exhibiting stable single lateral mode operation. The goal of this program is to ultimately deliver multi-kilowatt fiber laser pumps and direct diode laser systems for both military and industrial applications. Currently, we are in the process of developing the necessary device growth, processing, and packaging technologies. Several devices have been made and tested yielding promising results. In this paper, we present some of these results along with an examination of the system implications and capabilities of these devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 2004
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 5336, High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications II, (1 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.531594
Show Author Affiliations
J. Allen Priest, Nuvonyx, Inc. (United States)
Brian O. Faircloth, Nuvonyx, Inc. (United States)
Reuel B. Swint, Nuvonyx, Inc. (United States)
Univ. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign (United States)
James J. Coleman, Nuvonyx, Inc. (United States)
Univ. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign (United States)
David V. Forbes, Nuvonyx, Inc. (United States)
Alfalight, Inc. (United States)
Mark S. Zediker, Nuvonyx, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5336:
High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications II
Mark S. Zediker, Editor(s)

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