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Recent developments in high-power short-wave mid-infrared semiconductor disk lasers

Burns, D. and Hopkins, J.M. and Kemp, A.J. and Rosener, B. and Schulz, N. and Manz, C. and Kohler, K. and Rattunde, M. and Wagner, J. (2009) Recent developments in high-power short-wave mid-infrared semiconductor disk lasers. Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering, 7193.

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Many applications exist for high performance lasers in the short-wave, mid-infrared spectral regime between 1.9 and 2.5μm - from long-range communications systems through to remote atmospheric gas sensing and pollution monitoring. However, a simple, efficient laser source offering the desired performance characteristics and flexibility has not been available. In the last few years considerable progress has been made in the development of optically-pumped (AlGaIn)(AsSb) quantum well semiconductor disk lasers emitting in the 2.Xμm mid-infrared spectral region - continuous-wave and pulsed-pumped output power levels now exceed 6W and 16W respectively. Furthermore, singlefrequency operation with linewidths <4MHz and broad tunability of up to 170nm have also been demonstrated, all at near-diffraction-limited beam quality. Such performance metrics are only possible through the very best materials growth, a sound understanding of the design principles of these highly multi-layered devices and, importantly, the application of effective thermal management.