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nLight Demos Diode Laser Output

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VANCOUVER, Wash., June 7 -- nLight, a manufacturer of high-power semiconductor lasers, said today it has achieved the highest output power to date from a single, 1 cm, InP (indium phosphide) diode laser bar. The 50-percent fill factor bar running at 20 ?C produced over 100 W continuous-wave (CW) power at 1470 nm. The bar was mounted on the company's Cascades micro-channel water-cooled package.

nLight said that high-power, eyesafe, diode laser bars, when used as pump sources, could enable more compact, efficient and less expensive eyesafe diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers than those now available. High-pulse-energy, solid-state laser systems operating in the 1400 to 1600 nm eyesafe wavelength range are used in commercial and defense laser applications. They are typically based on 1064-nm Nd:YAG lasers pumped by 808-nm GaAs diode laser bars. The output is subsequently wavelength shifted to the eyesafe range using optical parametric oscillators (OPOs). The systems are too inefficient and too large for some applications.

By contrast, high-power 1470-nm diode lasers can pump bulk Er:YAG crystals that directly produce eyesafe wavelengths, improving overall efficiency and eliminating the OPO, which reduces the overall laser system size. Also, because Er:YAG has an upper state lifetime up to 50 times longer than Nd:YAG, the number of diode laser bars required to reach a given pulse energy is reduced by at least an order of magnitude. As a result, the systems can be produced at substantially lower cost.

"nLight's work on high-efficiency, high-power, eyesafe diode laser structures, funded by the Army, has considerably improved the peak output power and reliability of high-power diode lasers," said Jason Farmer, nLight's vice president of advanced technology. "Achieving over 100 W of CW power at 1470 nm is a significant milestone for the diode laser industry. Ultimately, we hope to enable a new generation of more compact, lower cost eyesafe DPSS lasers."

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Jun 2005
continuous-wave powerdefensediode lasersdiode-pumped solid-stateDPSS lasersNews & FeaturesNLightsemiconductor laserslasers

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