Scientists announced in the Sept. 20 issue of Applied Optics that they have fabricated 200-mW, 980-nm pump laser modules for erbium-doped fiber amplifiers. The diode lasers are coupled to single-mode fiber without epoxy or solder, making them suitable for submarine and terrestrial telecommunications systems. The graded-index separate confinement heterostructure lasers comprise an InGaAs single quantum well in AlGaAs cladding layers. A wet chemical etch inscribes the ridge waveguide structures on the bars, which are mirrored and laser-welded to the fiber in cooled modules. "Today, about every second, 1 m of fiber is installed," said Martin Achtenhagen, now of Uniphase Laser Enterprise in Zurich, Switzerland, and an author of the study, noting that pumped amplifiers are required every 40 to 80 km along a fiber to maintain an optical signal. "The impact of these modules on the telecommunications market will be very strong." The laser modules will be released by ADC Telecommunications of Bear Lake, Minn. David Reamer, director of new business development at the company's fiber division, said the modules will be commercially available in the standard 14-pin configuration by early 2000.