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Novel Integrated Photonic Devices for High-Power Ultrashort Pulse Generation

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New lasers for laser medicine

EU-funded scientists developed a new generation of ultrafast semiconductor photonic devices. These are expected to replace the expensive and bulky solid-state ultrafast lasers in the near-infrared region in a number of applications.

Health

Monolithically integrated semiconductor photonic devices are able to generate high-power ultrashort pulses due to their stable, reliable, low-cost and portable features. Although they are suitable mainly for biomedical applications, scientists need to further develop their potential. The EU-funded project 'Novel integrated photonic devices for high-power ultrashort pulse generation' (NINTENDU-PULSE) unveiled ultrafast semiconductor lasers with significant improvements in peak power, tunability, beam quality and spectral region coverage. NINTENDU-PULSE achievements include a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) system with peak power at 1.26 micrometres that was successfully used for multi-photon imaging. Another task was the development of a broadly tuneable pulsed MOPA based on chirped quantum dot structures, generating tuneable picosecond pulses between 1 187 and 1 283 nm. A 980-nm passively mode-locked external cavity laser with 5.26 W maximum peak power and exceptionally low noise performance has been produced. The development of a mode-locked quantum-well diode laser emitting at 2 wavelengths and generating 20 GHz pulse trains with picosecond pulse duration concluded project work. All the developed laser sources hold promise for medical imaging and laser surgery applications.

Keywords

Laser medicine, ultrafast semiconductor, photonic devices, ultrafast lasers, ultrashort pulses, integrated photonic devices, master oscillator power amplifier, multi-photon imaging, picosecond pulses, diode laser, medical imaging, laser surgery

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