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Diode bar hits record power level

21 Jan 2005

Bookham launches world’s most powerful cw laser diode bar.

A laser diode bar that emits 120 W of continuous wave (CW) infrared light, the highest commercially available power to date, has been unveiled by Bookham Technology.

The GaAs multimode bar, which has an emission wavelength in the 900-1000 nm window, will be officially launched at the Photonics West show in California next week. It is designed for pumping solid-state sources including fiber lasers and disk lasers and will be manufactured at Bookham’s laser facility in Zurich, Switzerland.

Although higher power bars have been demonstrated in the lab, last November the US firm nLight Photonics generated 364 W from a 1 cm long bar, commercial devices to date have been limited to less than 100 W.

“The commercial release of the 120 W bar product is a significant achievement and one that we are very proud of,” said Greg Smolka, vice-president sales and marketing at Bookham. “We are confident that the high brightness and reliability of our industrial laser diode bars will continue to attract new customers and accelerate the growth of diode-pumped laser systems.”

The launch is potentially important to Bookham as it strengthens the firm’s range of industrial laser products and helps dilute its reliance on the telecoms sector where revenues are still weak.

The optical module maker says that the key to raising the power output of the bar was improved passivation of the laser’s front mirror to prevent catastrophic optical damage as well as the use of gold-tin solder.

For those at Photonics West who wish to find out more, Bookham is presenting two papers on the topic of high-power laser diodes:
 •“high-brightness 9xx and 14xx single-emitter array laser bars”
 • “325W from 1cm wide 9xx laser bars for DPSSL and FL-applications”

Author
Oliver Graydon is editor of Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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