The applications of surface-emitting lasers, in particular vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), are currently being extended to various low-power fields including communications and interconnections. However, the fundamental difficulties in increasing their output power by more than several milliwatts while maintaining single-mode operation prevent their application in high-power fields such as material processing, laser medicine and nonlinear optics, despite their advantageous properties of circular beams, the absence of catastrophic optical damage, and their suitability for two-dimensional integration. Here, we demonstrate watt-class high-power, single-mode operation by a two-dimensional photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser under room-temperature, continuous-wave conditions. The two-dimensional band-edge resonant effect of a photonic crystal formed by metal–organic chemical vapour deposition enables a 1,000 times broader coherent-oscillation area, which results in a high beam quality of M2 ≤ 1.1, narrowing the focus spot by two orders of magnitude compared to VCSELs. Our demonstration promises to realize innovative high-power applications for surface-emitting lasers.
At a glance
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