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High-power distributed feedback semiconductor lasers operating at 2.05 microns range
NASA and JPL have a long history of flying laser-based instruments on planetary and Earth missions for atmospheric and trace gas analysis. Traditionally solid-state mid-IR lasers have been used in these tunable spectrometers in a master-slave oscillator configuration to achieve the output power and wavelength accuracy required for such applications. With the recent progress in development of mid-IR semiconductor lasers, these lasers have appeared as a compelling technology to replace the master oscillator in these transmitter architectures. However, the highly divergent optical mode of the semiconductor laser reduces the accessible optical power and coupling to optical fibers and increases the optical system complexity. As a result, a planar optical technology that can shape the free space optical modes of such lasers can significantly simplify these systems and improve their efficiency.
In this talk, I will go over the fiber-pigtailed semiconductor laser diodes developed at JPL and will discuss how integrating a high-contrast sub-wavelength grating with these laser modules can improve their power efficiency.