Cranbury, NJ, July 19, 2004--The U.S. Department of Defense's High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office has selected Princeton Lightwave to develop scalable eye-safe solid state lasers with InP-based ultra-low photon defect diode pumping. This US Air Force contract provides more than $1 million in funding over two years and will culminate in the development of multi-kilowatt eye-safe solid state lasers.
In this program, Princeton Lightwave will build on its capabilities in InP-based high power single-mode and multi-mode laser diodes. Princeton Lightwave lasers are based on separate confinement quantum well structures which allow for control of the injection current components and minimization of optical losses.
Central to this DoD program is the development of InP-based two-dimensional diode pump laser arrays with very high output powers. These laser arrays will be optimized for pumping an Er:YAG gain medium at wavelengths very close to the solid state laser emission wavelength. Such a design will reduce undesirable heating of the gain medium and allow for the scaling of these laser systems to multi-kilowatt outputs while maintaining high beam quality.
"The transition to InP-based long wavelength pump lasers is a natural progression for the next generation of long wavelength eye-safe solid state and fiber lasers," stated Dimitri Garbuzov, PLI's Chief Scientist. "In addition to alleviating active media overheating, the use of InP-based pump sources avoids a critical problem inherent to GaAs diode lasers associated with the degradation of the diode laser mirror facets. The photon flux for InP pump lasers can be several times larger than that of traditional GaAs-based pumps at comparable device lifetimes."