August 1, 2005, Madison, WI--Alfalight, Inc., which manufactures highly efficient and reliable high-power diode lasers, announced that it has been awarded $1.4 million in funding for Phase II of the Super High Efficiency Diode Sources (SHEDS) program, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
This follows Alfalight's successful completion of Phase I in which Alfalight developed working diode lasers that surpassed the targeted 65% efficiency (see Laser Focus World, March 2005, p. 59). Phase II will enable Alfalight to continue making fundamental improvements to the power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of pump laser diodes and to develop high-efficiency, high-power diode-laser stacks. High-PCE laser diodes are a key enabling component for high-power laser systems, amplifiers, and industrial lasers by allowing higher output power with less waste heat.
Alfalight demonstrated 71% efficiency in a 970-nm, 55-W laser bar at 25ºC in November 2004, and was certified by NIST in March 2005 to have met the Phase I program objectives. Phase II of the program has a target of 80% PCE in a 480-W stacked array at 50ºC. Alfalight will focus on efficiency enhancement by further reducing the optical- and electrical-loss mechanisms of current designs, and by creating fundamentally more efficient diode laser structures using quantum dots and unique epitaxial growth methods.
The SHEDS program results will be highlighted at DARPATech 2005 in Anaheim, CA, August 9-11. Alfalight's latest results will be presented at the International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in Miami, FL, November 1, 2005 by Manoj Kanskar, vice president of research and development at Alfalight.