Direct measurement of the spectral reflectance of OP-SDL gain elements under optical pumping
Journal article, 2011
We report on a direct measurement method for acquiring highly precise reflectance spectra of gain elements for semiconductor disk lasers under optical pumping. The gain element acts as an active mirror, and the active mirror reflectance (AMR) was measured with a weak and tunable probe beam coincident on the gain element with a high-power pump beam. In particular, we measured the spectral AMR of a gain element designed to have a broad and flat AMR spectrum by being anti-resonant at the center wavelength and employing a parametrically optimized anti-reflection structure. We were able to confirm that this sophisticated gain element performs according to design, with an almost constant AMR of ~103% over a wavelength range of nearly 35 nm, very well matching the simulated behavior. Such gain characteristics are useful for optically pumped semiconductor disk lasers (OP-SDLs) designed for broadband tuning and short-pulse generation through mode-locking. The measurement technique was also applied to a conventional resonant periodic gain element designed for fixed wavelength OP-SDL operation; its AMR spectrum is markedly different with a narrow peak, again in good agreement with the simulations.
vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser
optically pumped semiconductor disk laser