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Periodic-dispersive photonic components for control of spectral, spatial and temporal characteristics of laser diode radiation


Diode lasers are more efficient than any other laser and feature the highest reliability. They are already very strong contenders in the commercial marketplace. Laser diodes are a basic technology for a diversity of applications, such as pumping of solid-state lasers, communications and material processing. At the same time, there are clearly certain deficiencies in their performance that have become critical for many demanding applications e.g. their low spatial and temporal coherence. The consequences of this are a too broad spectral line-width and a poor beam quality. With respect to the spectral range, present laser diode technology (especially for high power) is limited to the near infrared region. Recent advances of GaN technology has resulted in the commercialisation of low power (several tens of mW) blue laser diodes around 400 nm. However, large portions of the spectrum are not yet covered by laser diodes.

The main aim of this project is the development of low cost, mass production technology for optical components based on volume Bragg gratings in advanced photorefractive materials that control the spatial and temporal coherence of laser diode radiation. As a result, a new generation of diode lasers with a very narrow line width and high spatial coherence will be developed and commercialised. As a logical continuation, the second aim is the integration of nonlinear crystals with periodic domain inversion. These will enable the efficient frequency conversion of the high brightness, narrow band laser diode radiation by means of second harmonic generation. This new generation of lasers will find many new applications in different markets. The frequency converted lasers will cover large portions of the spectrum that are not attainable at present by laser diodes. The partners have extensive academic and technological backgrounds in lasers, materials and nonlinear optics. The successful completion of this project will give them a worldwide competitive status.

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Participants (6)