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Watt-class high-power, high-beam-quality photonic-crystal lasers

Abstract

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.

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Figure 1: Schematic of the PCSEL structure and SEM images of a PC.
Figure 2: Lasing a characteristics of a PCSEL operated under room-temperature pulsed conditions.
Figure 3: Lasing characteristics of a PCSEL operated under room-temperature c.w. conditions.
Figure 4: Theoretical analysis and comparison with experiment.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank A. Higuchi, S. Furuta and M. Hitaka for assistance with epitaxial growth of the device, K. Shibata for assistance with the fabrication process and N. Kageyama for measurements on the device. The authors also thank K. Ishizaki for help with the electron-beam lithography process and J. Gelleta for valuable suggestions. This work was supported in part by C-PhoST, MEXT, Japan.

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S.N. directed the work. K.H. fabricated the device with T.S., and performed the experiments with A.W. Y.L. conducted the theoretical analysis of the device. Y.K. measured the band structure of the device. K.H. and Y.L. wrote the manuscript with S.N.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Kazuyoshi Hirose or Susumu Noda.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Hirose, K., Liang, Y., Kurosaka, Y. et al. Watt-class high-power, high-beam-quality photonic-crystal lasers. Nature Photon 8, 406–411 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2014.75

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