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MOVPE growth of LWIR AlInAs/GaInAs/InP quantum cascade lasers: impact of growth and material quality on laser performance

Summary

The quality of epitaxial layers in quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) has a primary impact on QCL performance, and establishing correlations between epitaxial growth and materials properties is of critical importance for continuing improvements. We present an overview of the growth challenges of these complex QCL structures; describe the metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy growth of AlInAs/GaInAs/InP QCL materials; discuss materials properties that impact QCL performance; and investigate various QCL structure modifications and their effects on QCL performance. We demonstrate uncoated buried-heterostructure 9.3-um QCLs with 1.32-W continuous-wave output power and maximum wall plug efficiency (WPE) of 6.8%. This WPE is more than 50% greater than previously reported WPEs for unstrained QCLs emitting at 8.9 um and only 30% below strained QCLs emitting around 9.2 um.
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Summary

The quality of epitaxial layers in quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) has a primary impact on QCL performance, and establishing correlations between epitaxial growth and materials properties is of critical importance for continuing improvements. We present an overview of the growth challenges of these complex QCL structures; describe the metalorganic vapor...

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Photonic lantern kW-class fiber amplifier

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 25, No. 22, 30 October 2017, pp. 27543-27550.

Summary

Pump-limited kW-class operation in a multimode fiber amplifier using adaptive mode control and a photonic lantern front end was achieved. An array of three single-mode fiber inputs was used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a three-mode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the output. Mode fluctuations at high power were compensated by adjusting the relative phase, amplitude, and polarization of the single-mode fiber inputs. The outlook for further power scaling and adaptive-optic compensation is described.
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Summary

Pump-limited kW-class operation in a multimode fiber amplifier using adaptive mode control and a photonic lantern front end was achieved. An array of three single-mode fiber inputs was used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a three-mode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the...

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Efficient cryogenic near-infrared Tm:YLF laser

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 25, No. 12, 12 June 2017, 13408.

Summary

Operation of a cw thulium laser emitting at 816 nm has been demonstrated in bulk Tm:YLF with 46% slope efficiency. Prior cw demonstrations of this transition have been limited to ZBLAN fiber hosts and prior lasing in bulk crystalline host material has been limited to quasi-cw operation due to population trapping. Trapping at the 3F4 level was mitigated by co-lasing at 1876 nm. The co-lasing technique should be applicable to room-temperature operation and to power scaling of YLF and other crystal hosts.
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Summary

Operation of a cw thulium laser emitting at 816 nm has been demonstrated in bulk Tm:YLF with 46% slope efficiency. Prior cw demonstrations of this transition have been limited to ZBLAN fiber hosts and prior lasing in bulk crystalline host material has been limited to quasi-cw operation due to population...

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Aircraft laser strike geolocation system

Published in:
17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conf., 5-9 June 2017.

Summary

Laser strikes against aircraft are increasing at an alarming rate, driven by the availability of cheap powerful lasers and a lack of deterrence due to the challenges of locating and apprehending perpetrators. Although window coatings and pilot goggles effectively block laser light, uptake has been low due to high cost and pilot reluctance. This paper describes the development and testing of a proof-of-concept ground based sensor system to rapidly geolocate the origin of a laser beam in a protected region of airspace and disseminate this information to law enforcement to allow a timely and targeted response. Geolocation estimates with accuracies of better than 20 m have been demonstrated within 30 seconds of an event at a range of 8.9 nmi with a 450 mW laser. Recommendations for an operational prototype at an airport are also described.
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Summary

Laser strikes against aircraft are increasing at an alarming rate, driven by the availability of cheap powerful lasers and a lack of deterrence due to the challenges of locating and apprehending perpetrators. Although window coatings and pilot goggles effectively block laser light, uptake has been low due to high cost...

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Picosecond kilohertz-class cryogenically cooled multistage Yb-doped chirped pulse amplifier

Published in:
Opt. Lett., Vol. 42, No. 4, 15 February 2017, pp. 707-710.

Summary

A multistage cryogenic chirped pulse amplifier has been developed, utilizing two different Yb-doped gain materials in subsequent amplifier stages. A Yb:GSAG regenerative amplifier followed by a Yb:YAG power amplifier is able to deliver pulses with a broader bandwidth than a system using only one of these two gain media throughout. We demonstrate 90 mJ of pulse energy (113 W of average power) uncompressed and 67 mJ (84 W of average power) compressed at 1.25 kHz pulse repetition frequency, 3.0 ps FWHM Gaussian pulse width, and near-diffraction-limited (M^2 < 1.3) beam quality.
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Summary

A multistage cryogenic chirped pulse amplifier has been developed, utilizing two different Yb-doped gain materials in subsequent amplifier stages. A Yb:GSAG regenerative amplifier followed by a Yb:YAG power amplifier is able to deliver pulses with a broader bandwidth than a system using only one of these two gain media throughout...

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Spatially-resolved individual particle spectroscopy using photothermal modulation of Mie scattering

Summary

We report a photothermal modulation of Mie scattering (PMMS) method that enables concurrent spatial and spectral discrimination of individual micron-sized particles. This approach provides a direct measurement of the "fingerprint" infrared absorption spectrum with the spatial resolution of visible light. Trace quantities (tens of picograms) of material were deposited onto an infrared transparent substrate and simultaneously illuminated by a wavelength-tunable intensity-modulated quantum cascade pump laser and a continuous-wave 532 nm probe laser. Absorption of the pump laser by the particles results in direct modulation of the scatter field of the probe laser. The probe light scattered from the interrogated region is imaged onto a visible camera, enabling simultaneous probing of spatially-separated individual particles. By tuning the wavelength of the pump laser, the IR absorption spectrum is obtained. Using this approach, we measured the infrared absorption spectra of individual 3 um PMMA and silica spheres. Experimental PMMS signal amplitudes agree with modeling using an extended version of the Mie scattering theory for particles on substrates, enabling the prediction of the PMMS signal magnitude based on the material and substrate properties.
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Summary

We report a photothermal modulation of Mie scattering (PMMS) method that enables concurrent spatial and spectral discrimination of individual micron-sized particles. This approach provides a direct measurement of the "fingerprint" infrared absorption spectrum with the spatial resolution of visible light. Trace quantities (tens of picograms) of material were deposited onto...

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Diode-pumped narrow linewidth multi-kW metalized Yb fiber amplifier

Published in:
Advanced Solid State Lasers, 30 October - 3 November 2016.

Summary

We investigate high brightness pumping of a multi-kW Yb fiber amplifier in a bi-directional pumping configuration. Each pump outputs 2 kW in a 200 um, 0.2 NA multi-mode fiber. Gold-coated specialty gain fibers, with 17 um MFD and 5-dB/meter pump absorption, have been developed. The maximum fiber amplifier output power is 3.1 kW, limited by multi-mode instability, with 90% O-O efficiency 12 GHz Linewidth and M2 < 1.15.
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Summary

We investigate high brightness pumping of a multi-kW Yb fiber amplifier in a bi-directional pumping configuration. Each pump outputs 2 kW in a 200 um, 0.2 NA multi-mode fiber. Gold-coated specialty gain fibers, with 17 um MFD and 5-dB/meter pump absorption, have been developed. The maximum fiber amplifier output power...

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Photonic lantern adaptive spatial mode control in LMA fiber amplifiers

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 24, No. 4, 22 February 2016, pp. 3405-13.

Summary

We demonstrate adaptive-spatial mode control (ASMC) in few-moded double-clad large mode area (LMA) fiber amplifiers by using an all-fiber-based photonic lantern. Three single-mode fiber inputs are used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a multimode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the output. By actively adjusting the relative phase of the single-mode inputs, near-unity coherent combination resulting in a single fundamental mode at the output is achieved.
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Summary

We demonstrate adaptive-spatial mode control (ASMC) in few-moded double-clad large mode area (LMA) fiber amplifiers by using an all-fiber-based photonic lantern. Three single-mode fiber inputs are used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a multimode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the output. By...

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Coherent beam-combining of quantum cascade amplifier arrays

Summary

We present design, packaging and coherent beam combining of quantum cascade amplifier (QCA) arrays, measurements of QCA phase noise, the drive-current-to-optical-phase transfer function, and the small signal gain for QCAs.
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Summary

We present design, packaging and coherent beam combining of quantum cascade amplifier (QCA) arrays, measurements of QCA phase noise, the drive-current-to-optical-phase transfer function, and the small signal gain for QCAs.

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Active hyperspectral imaging using a quantum cascade laser (QCL) array and digital-pixel focal plane array (DFPA) camera

Summary

We demonstrate active hyperspectral imaging using a quantum-cascade laser (QCL) array as the illumination source and a digital-pixel focal-plane-array (DFPA) camera as the receiver. The multi-wavelength QCL array used in this work comprises 15 individually addressable QCLs in which the beams from all lasers are spatially overlapped using wavelength beam combining (WBC). The DFPA camera was configured to integrate the laser light relfected from the sample and to perform on-chip subtraction of the passive thermal background. A 27-frame hyperspectral image was acquired of a liquid contaminant on a diffuse gold surface at a range of 5 meters. The measured spectral reflectance closely matches the calculated reflectance. Furthermore, the high-speed capabilities of the system were demonstrated by capturing differential reflectance images of sand and KClO3 particles that were moving at speeds of up to 10 m/s.
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Summary

We demonstrate active hyperspectral imaging using a quantum-cascade laser (QCL) array as the illumination source and a digital-pixel focal-plane-array (DFPA) camera as the receiver. The multi-wavelength QCL array used in this work comprises 15 individually addressable QCLs in which the beams from all lasers are spatially overlapped using wavelength beam...

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