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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 10 — May. 9, 2011
  • pp: 9863–9867
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Characterization of highly stable mid-IR, GaSb-based laser diodes

A. V. Okishev  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 10, pp. 9863-9867 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.009863


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Abstract

Highly stable room-temperature, mid-IR, GaSb-based laser diodes have been characterized at various temperatures and driver currents. Up to 54 mW of output power was demonstrated in a 3150- to 3180-nm–wavelength range with <20-nm FWHM spectral width.

© 2011 OSA

1. Introduction

Mid-IR, 3000- to 3500-nm laser sources are important for various applications including gas sensing, spectral analysis, infrared illumination, countermeasures, medical diagnostics, and others. One particular application is the layering of cryogenic targets for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosions at the Omega Laser Facility [1

1. T. R. Boehly, D. L. Brown, R. S. Craxton, R. L. Keck, J. P. Knauer, J. H. Kelly, T. J. Kessler, S. A. Kumpan, S. J. Loucks, S. A. Letzring, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, S. F. B. Morse, W. Seka, J. M. Soures, and C. P. Verdon, “Initial performance results of the OMEGA Laser System,” Opt. Commun. 133(1-6), 495–506 (1997). [CrossRef]

]. The careful layering of cryogenic targets is important to maximizing the fuel density in ICF implosions. These targets consist of ~900-μm-diam microcapsules that contain frozen D2 (deuterium–deuterium) gas. The frozen deuterium is “layered” so that it is uniformly distributed around the inner surface of the capsule [2

2. T. C. Sangster, R. Betti, R. S. Craxton, J. A. Delettrez, D. H. Edgell, L. M. Elasky, V. Yu. Glebov, V. N. Goncharov, D. R. Harding, D. Jacobs-Perkins, R. Janezic, R. L. Keck, J. P. Knauer, S. J. Loucks, L. D. Lund, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, P. W. McKenty, D. D. Meyerhofer, P. B. Radha, S. P. Regan, W. Seka, W. T. Shmayda, S. Skupsky, V. A. Smalyuk, J. M. Soures, C. Stoeckl, B. Yaakobi, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, R. D. Petrasso, F. H. Séguin, J. D. Moody, J. A. Atherton, B. D. MacGowan, J. D. Kilkenny, T. P. Bernat, and D. S. Montgomery, “Cryogenic DT and D2 targets for inertial confinement fusion,” Phys. Plasmas 14(5), 058101 (2007). [CrossRef]

,3

3. D. R. Harding, D. D. Meyerhofer, T. C. Sangster, S. J. Loucks, R. L. McCrory, R. Betti, J. A. Delettrez, D. H. Edgell, L. M. Elasky, R. Epstein, V. Yu. Glebov, V. N. Goncharov, S. X. Hu, I. V. Igumenshchev, D. Jacobs-Perkins, R. J. Janezic, J. P. Knauer, L. D. Lund, J. R. Marciante, F. J. Marshall, D. N. Maywar, P. W. McKenty, P. B. Radha, S. P. Regan, R. G. Roides, W. Seka, W. T. Shmayda, S. Skupsky, V. A. Smalyuk, C. Stoeckl, B. Yaakobi, J. D. Zuegel, D. Shvarts, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, R. D. Petrasso, and F. H. Séguin, “Cryogenic target-implosion experiments on OMEGA,” J. Phys., Conf. Ser. 112, 022001 (2008).

]. The layering process relies on the target being in the spherical isotherm, which is uniformly illuminated by mid-IR light. The wavelength is tuned to the absorption peak in the fuel material (3160 nm with ~20-nm FWHM for D2 targets [4

4. A. Crane and H. P. Gush, “The induced infrared absorption spectrum of solid deuterium and solid hydrogen deuteride,” Can. J. Phys. 44, 373–398 (1966). [CrossRef]

]). Since thicker regions of ice will have a longer path length, they absorb more radiation, so they will be relatively hot spots. Fuel material sublimes from the hotter regions and condenses and refreezes on the thinner, colder regions, leading to a uniform distribution of fuel material. For this process to produce layers with the required uniformity, the temperature must be held very close to the material’s melting point. As a result, the mid-IR source’s output power and spectrum must be temporally stable to avoid over- or underheating.

Currently a mid-IR optical parametric oscillator (OPO) is used to layer the targets [5

5. L. M. Elasky, D. J. Lonobile, W. A. Bittle, D. R. Harding, A. V. Okishev, and J. D. Zuegel, “Implementation and effects of closed-loop controls on OPO IR sources for cryogenic target layering,” presented at the 15th Target Fabrication Specialists’ Meeting, Gleneden Beach, OR, 1–5 June 2003.

]. In Ref. 6

6. A. V. Okishev, D. Westerfeld, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “A stable mid-IR, GaSb-based diode laser source for the cryogenic target layering at the Omega Laser Facility,” Opt. Express 17(18), 15760–15765 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

it was shown that mid-IR, GaSb-based quantum-well laser diodes can be used for target layering. This paper reports on selection and characterization of a mid-IR laser diode that performs optimally for cryogenic-target layering. Mid-IR diodes emitting in the 3100- to 3200-nm range with an output power over 150 mW have recently been demonstrated [7

7. T. Hosoda, G. Kipshidze, G. Tsvid, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “Type-I GaSb-based laser diodes operating in 3.1- to 3.3-μm wavelength range,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 22(10), 718–720 (2010). [CrossRef]

].

2. Laser-diode selection

Three laser diodes emitting at ~3160 nm have been grown and assembled as described in Ref. 6

6. A. V. Okishev, D. Westerfeld, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “A stable mid-IR, GaSb-based diode laser source for the cryogenic target layering at the Omega Laser Facility,” Opt. Express 17(18), 15760–15765 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

. During the selection process the wavelength-integrated output power versus driver current and the spectral shape at 3160 nm were measured (see Fig. 1
Fig. 1 (a) Output power versus driver current and (b) spectra at 3160 nm for three tested laser diodes.
).

Diode #1 delivered the highest output power of >50 mW at 2400 mA of driver current. Its spectrum is centered at 3160 nm and has a compact envelope with <20-nm FWHM. Diode #2 had the same slope efficiency as diode #1 but with lower output power. Its spectrum has more-pronounced intensity variations than diode #1. Diode #3 has lower slope efficiency and output power than diodes #1 and #2. Its spectrum is asymmetric and has a wide short-wavelength wing. The diode spectra shown in Fig. 1(b) were taken at 1600 mA of the driver current and 12° C diode temperature. Diode #1 has been selected for further characterization.

3. Laser-diode characterization

The output power of diode #1 was measured at various driver currents and diode temperatures (see Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Output power versus driver current at various temperatures for diode #1.
). The highest power of 54 mW was produced at 12 °C and 2400 mA of driver current (current set-point tolerance was 1 mA). A further temperature decrease might cause condensation (condensation temperature was estimated to be ~10° C at ~20° C ambient temperature and ~50% relative humidity) and a higher current might damage the diode.

The spectral position and shape were measured at various temperatures and current (Figs. 3
Fig. 3 Output spectral shape and positions for various temperatures for diode #1.
and 4
Fig. 4 Output spectral shape and positions for various currents for diode #1.
). The output spectrum moves toward a longer wavelength with a rate of ~2 nm per °C of temperature increase and with a rate of ~2.5 nm per 100 mA of current increase.

Providing constant absorbed power and preventing melting of the target require irradiation with a highly stable wavelength-integrated power and spectral shape that matches the D2 absorption band. The wavelength-integrated diode output-power variations over 24 h of operation were ~1.3% rms and might be reduced by improving temperature stabilization of the diode. The 3160-nm–centered, 20-nm–FWHM D2 absorption band [4

4. A. Crane and H. P. Gush, “The induced infrared absorption spectrum of solid deuterium and solid hydrogen deuteride,” Can. J. Phys. 44, 373–398 (1966). [CrossRef]

] is well represented by the fourth-order super-Gaussian shown in red in Fig. 5
Fig. 5 Diode #1’s spectral stability at 1600- and 1800-mA driver currents. D2 absorption band is shown in red.
that also shows diode #1’s spectral shape stability at 12 °C and 1600- and 1800-mA current settings. Each group contains nine spectra that were taken at 15-min intervals over 2 h. Diode #1 represents high spectral shape stability and a compact spectral envelope over optimal temperature and current settings.

The diode #1 spectra at various diode temperatures and driver currents were multiplied by the D2 absorption curve to find a relative power absorbed by D2. After integration over the wavelength, the absorbed power is plotted on a graph in Fig. 6
Fig. 6 Diode #1’s output power absorbed by D2 target at various diode temperatures and driver currents.
that shows optimal temperature and current settings for the maximum absorbed power at 12 °C and 1800 mA, which correspond to ~37 mW of absorbed power. The absorbed power amount is not very sensitive to the temperature or current value.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion we have demonstrated and characterized a highly spectrally stable mid-IR, GaSb-based laser diode with 3160-nm–centered, <20-nm FWHM spectrum and >35-mW output power at room temperature for cryogenic-target layering at the Omega Laser Facility. Highly stable operation with output-power variations of ~1.3% rms has been demonstrated over 24 h.

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to Prof. G. Belenky and his group at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, State University of New York at Stony Brook for providing diode samples for testing. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inertial Confinement Fusion under Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC52-08NA28302, the University of Rochester, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The support of DOE does not constitute an endorsement by DOE of the views expressed in this article.

References and links

1.

T. R. Boehly, D. L. Brown, R. S. Craxton, R. L. Keck, J. P. Knauer, J. H. Kelly, T. J. Kessler, S. A. Kumpan, S. J. Loucks, S. A. Letzring, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, S. F. B. Morse, W. Seka, J. M. Soures, and C. P. Verdon, “Initial performance results of the OMEGA Laser System,” Opt. Commun. 133(1-6), 495–506 (1997). [CrossRef]

2.

T. C. Sangster, R. Betti, R. S. Craxton, J. A. Delettrez, D. H. Edgell, L. M. Elasky, V. Yu. Glebov, V. N. Goncharov, D. R. Harding, D. Jacobs-Perkins, R. Janezic, R. L. Keck, J. P. Knauer, S. J. Loucks, L. D. Lund, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, P. W. McKenty, D. D. Meyerhofer, P. B. Radha, S. P. Regan, W. Seka, W. T. Shmayda, S. Skupsky, V. A. Smalyuk, J. M. Soures, C. Stoeckl, B. Yaakobi, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, R. D. Petrasso, F. H. Séguin, J. D. Moody, J. A. Atherton, B. D. MacGowan, J. D. Kilkenny, T. P. Bernat, and D. S. Montgomery, “Cryogenic DT and D2 targets for inertial confinement fusion,” Phys. Plasmas 14(5), 058101 (2007). [CrossRef]

3.

D. R. Harding, D. D. Meyerhofer, T. C. Sangster, S. J. Loucks, R. L. McCrory, R. Betti, J. A. Delettrez, D. H. Edgell, L. M. Elasky, R. Epstein, V. Yu. Glebov, V. N. Goncharov, S. X. Hu, I. V. Igumenshchev, D. Jacobs-Perkins, R. J. Janezic, J. P. Knauer, L. D. Lund, J. R. Marciante, F. J. Marshall, D. N. Maywar, P. W. McKenty, P. B. Radha, S. P. Regan, R. G. Roides, W. Seka, W. T. Shmayda, S. Skupsky, V. A. Smalyuk, C. Stoeckl, B. Yaakobi, J. D. Zuegel, D. Shvarts, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, R. D. Petrasso, and F. H. Séguin, “Cryogenic target-implosion experiments on OMEGA,” J. Phys., Conf. Ser. 112, 022001 (2008).

4.

A. Crane and H. P. Gush, “The induced infrared absorption spectrum of solid deuterium and solid hydrogen deuteride,” Can. J. Phys. 44, 373–398 (1966). [CrossRef]

5.

L. M. Elasky, D. J. Lonobile, W. A. Bittle, D. R. Harding, A. V. Okishev, and J. D. Zuegel, “Implementation and effects of closed-loop controls on OPO IR sources for cryogenic target layering,” presented at the 15th Target Fabrication Specialists’ Meeting, Gleneden Beach, OR, 1–5 June 2003.

6.

A. V. Okishev, D. Westerfeld, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “A stable mid-IR, GaSb-based diode laser source for the cryogenic target layering at the Omega Laser Facility,” Opt. Express 17(18), 15760–15765 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

T. Hosoda, G. Kipshidze, G. Tsvid, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “Type-I GaSb-based laser diodes operating in 3.1- to 3.3-μm wavelength range,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 22(10), 718–720 (2010). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(140.2020) Lasers and laser optics : Diode lasers
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: February 24, 2011
Revised Manuscript: March 28, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: March 29, 2011
Published: May 5, 2011

Citation
A. V. Okishev*, "Characterization of highly stable mid-IR, GaSb-based laser diodes," Opt. Express 19, 9863-9867 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-10-9863


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References

  1. T. R. Boehly, D. L. Brown, R. S. Craxton, R. L. Keck, J. P. Knauer, J. H. Kelly, T. J. Kessler, S. A. Kumpan, S. J. Loucks, S. A. Letzring, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, S. F. B. Morse, W. Seka, J. M. Soures, and C. P. Verdon, “Initial performance results of the OMEGA Laser System,” Opt. Commun. 133(1-6), 495–506 (1997). [CrossRef]
  2. T. C. Sangster, R. Betti, R. S. Craxton, J. A. Delettrez, D. H. Edgell, L. M. Elasky, V. Yu. Glebov, V. N. Goncharov, D. R. Harding, D. Jacobs-Perkins, R. Janezic, R. L. Keck, J. P. Knauer, S. J. Loucks, L. D. Lund, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, P. W. McKenty, D. D. Meyerhofer, P. B. Radha, S. P. Regan, W. Seka, W. T. Shmayda, S. Skupsky, V. A. Smalyuk, J. M. Soures, C. Stoeckl, B. Yaakobi, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, R. D. Petrasso, F. H. Séguin, J. D. Moody, J. A. Atherton, B. D. MacGowan, J. D. Kilkenny, T. P. Bernat, and D. S. Montgomery, “Cryogenic DT and D2 targets for inertial confinement fusion,” Phys. Plasmas 14(5), 058101 (2007). [CrossRef]
  3. D. R. Harding, D. D. Meyerhofer, T. C. Sangster, S. J. Loucks, R. L. McCrory, R. Betti, J. A. Delettrez, D. H. Edgell, L. M. Elasky, R. Epstein, V. Yu. Glebov, V. N. Goncharov, S. X. Hu, I. V. Igumenshchev, D. Jacobs-Perkins, R. J. Janezic, J. P. Knauer, L. D. Lund, J. R. Marciante, F. J. Marshall, D. N. Maywar, P. W. McKenty, P. B. Radha, S. P. Regan, R. G. Roides, W. Seka, W. T. Shmayda, S. Skupsky, V. A. Smalyuk, C. Stoeckl, B. Yaakobi, J. D. Zuegel, D. Shvarts, J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, R. D. Petrasso, and F. H. Séguin, “Cryogenic target-implosion experiments on OMEGA,” J. Phys., Conf. Ser. 112, 022001 (2008).
  4. A. Crane and H. P. Gush, “The induced infrared absorption spectrum of solid deuterium and solid hydrogen deuteride,” Can. J. Phys. 44, 373–398 (1966). [CrossRef]
  5. L. M. Elasky, D. J. Lonobile, W. A. Bittle, D. R. Harding, A. V. Okishev, and J. D. Zuegel, “Implementation and effects of closed-loop controls on OPO IR sources for cryogenic target layering,” presented at the 15th Target Fabrication Specialists’ Meeting, Gleneden Beach, OR, 1–5 June 2003.
  6. A. V. Okishev, D. Westerfeld, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “A stable mid-IR, GaSb-based diode laser source for the cryogenic target layering at the Omega Laser Facility,” Opt. Express 17(18), 15760–15765 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. T. Hosoda, G. Kipshidze, G. Tsvid, L. Shterengas, and G. Belenky, “Type-I GaSb-based laser diodes operating in 3.1- to 3.3-μm wavelength range,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 22(10), 718–720 (2010). [CrossRef]

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