A new technique for single-mode operation of laser-diode arrays is presented. A gain-guided GaAlAs laser diode array is coupled to an external frequency-selective phase-conjugate feedback system that contains a photorefractive barium titanate crystal, a Fabry–Perot etalon, and a spatial filter. The etalon is the key component, and it forces the array, which has low spatial and spectral coherence when it runs freely, to oscillate in a single spatial and a single longitudinal mode. At a drive current of two times the threshold current, the far-field pattern is reduced to only 1.4 times the diffraction limit, the spectral bandwidth is less than 0.02 nm, and the coherence length is increased by a factor of 70. The technique has general validity and can be applied to various other multimode laser systems.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Martin LØbel, Paul M. Petersen, and Per M. Johansen, "Single-mode operation of a laser-diode array with frequency-selective phase-conjugate feedback," Opt. Lett. 23, 825-827 (1998)