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Thursday, August 25, 2005
Laser Diode Bars Break 400W Barrier

Jenoptik Laserdiode, the German manufacturer of semiconductor lasers, has fabricated a laser diode bar that emits a record breaking 454 W of continuous wave (cw) infrared (940 nm) light. The result is around 100 W higher than the previous records of 364 W and 320 W that were reported by nLight Photonics and Bookham respectively last year.

Jenoptik?s result was achieved with a 1cm-long, 2mm-high bar that was made at its new semiconductor fab, Jenoptik Diode Lab, in Berlin.

The water-cooled device emitted the record-breaking power when driven at a current of 580A. According to Wolff, the result is important because it shows that Jenoptik?s semiconductor material is capable of being driven at high output powers without suffering catastrophic optical damage (COD) to its facets.

The new result means that there is now an even larger gap between the performance of laboratory demonstrations and commercial devices. The highest power bars on the market currently deliver around 100-120 W CW and Wolff says this figure is unlikely to rise for sometime while manufacturers concentrate on improving the lifetime of devices rather than output power.

?What we see right now is a race towards a new commonly accepted power level. I think that this will be probably 120 W and will stay for the next few years,? a company's spokesman told Optics.org

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