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Optical Materials Express

Optical Materials Express

  • Editor: David J. Hagan
  • Vol. 2, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 2012
  • pp: 1020–1025
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Quasi-phase-matched gallium arsenide for versatile mid-infrared frequency conversion

Arnaud Grisard, Eric Lallier, and Bruno Gérard  »View Author Affiliations


Optical Materials Express, Vol. 2, Issue 8, pp. 1020-1025 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OME.2.001020


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Abstract

Progress in processing low-loss quasi-phase-matched gallium arsenide crystals makes it possible to benefit from their excellent nonlinear properties in practical mid-infrared sources. This paper addresses both crystal growth aspects and the most recent device demonstrations.

© 2012 OSA

1. Introduction

Powerful coherent laser sources are needed throughout the mid-infrared region for a number of civilian or defense applications, exploiting either the atmospheric transmission windows, or the fingerprint molecular absorption. Nonlinear optical materials play a key role in this respect as they permit the frequency down-conversion of mature high power near-infrared solid-state lasers into the mid-IR, where few direct laser solutions exist.

After a brief review of the most relevant properties of OP-GaAs crystals for QPM infrared generation, including damage threshold values for various pump pulses, the main fabrication steps are presented below. The emphasis has been made on the control of the optical losses and recent progress is put in perspective with practical devices and applications described in the last section.

2. Material properties

Table 1

Table 1. Comparison of Material Properties

table-icon
View This Table
compares important properties of OP-GaAs with another well known QPM material, periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN), and with ZnGeP2 (ZGP), suited to mid-IR frequency conversion by birefringent phase matching.

OP-GaAs thus enables wavelength conversion with a figure of merit d2/n3 (where n is the refractive index) four times superior to PPLN over a huge wavelength range, and even regardless of the orientation of pump beam polarization owing to the tensor properties of the crystal [3

3. P. S. Kuo, K. L. Vodopyanov, M. M. Fejer, X. Yu, J. S. Harris, D. F. Bliss, and D. Weyburne, “GaAs optical parametric oscillator with circularly polarized and depolarized pump,” Opt. Lett. 32(18), 2735–2737 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Its moderate optical index dispersion in the IR range translates into longer QPM periods as compared to PPLN. Figure 1
Fig. 1 OP-GaAs tuning curves.
gives the dependence of signal and idler wavelengths parametrically generated from various pump wavelengths and grating periods, showing the potential of OP-GaAs for widely tunable sources.

3. OP-GaAs fabrication and characterization

The need for thick structures requires fast epitaxial growth procedures with excellent selectivity. The method of choice for achieving fast growth rates is the HVPE technique.

The epitaxial growth on orientation-patterned semiconductor crystals suitable for QPM conversion first requires templates with modulated crystalline orientation, constituting the seeds for the epitaxial regrowth. In a compound III-V semiconductor with zincblende structure, the orientation reversal consists of the exchange of the atoms between the two sublattices (Ga and As), which is equivalent to a reversal of the III-V bond stacking. The templates can be fabricated on crystals with the two crystal orientations, [001] and [00-1], that can be obtained by an all-epitaxial MBE process enabling sublattice reversal [5

5. S. Koh, T. Kondo, T. Ishiwada, C. Iwamoto, H. Ichinose, H. Yaguchi, T. Usami, Y. Shiraki, and R. Ito, “Sublattice reversal in GaAs/Si/GaAs (100) heterostructures by molecular beam epitaxy,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37(Part 2, No. 12B), L1493–L1496 (1998). [CrossRef]

,6

6. C. B. Ebert, L. A. Eyres, M. M. Fejer, and J. S. Harris Jr., “MBE growth of antiphase GaAs films using GaAs/Ge/GaAs heteroepitaxy,” J. Cryst. Growth 201-202, 187–193 (1999). [CrossRef]

] or formed by the wafer bonding method [7

7. E. Lallier and A. Grisard, “Quasi-phase matched nonlinear crystals,” in Encyclopedia of Optical Engineering (Marcel Dekker, 2002).

]. In this method, the authors grow by MOVPE a stop layer and a thin GaAs layer on a 2 inches [001] wafer. This wafer is then bonded with opposite crystal axis orientation on another [001] wafer. Next, the [00-1] side is etched until only a thin [00-1] layer remains on the [001] substrate. Finally, the domain periods and duty cycles are defined by photolithography, and the patterned template is etched to reveal the orientation-patterned gratings (see Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Template fabrication (light eventually propagates along [-110]).
).

Recent improvements to the HVPE machine (flux control and sample holder) enabled us to carry out much longer growth cycles, up to 30 hours without cleaning interruptions. This in practice led to an increase in the final OP-GaAs layer thickness from typically 0.5 mm up to more than 1 mm and paves the way toward samples with still lower losses. As an example, Fig. 3(c) shows a very recent 1.2 mm thick sample with a 146 µm period suited to future mid-IR generation from a 3 µm pumping laser and obtained with a single growth interruption.

4. Applications: examples and prospects

As far as continuous wave operation is concerned, local gas sensing with a broadly tunable single-frequency mid-infrared source based on difference frequency generation has been shown [12

12. S. Vasilyev, S. Schiller, A. Nevsky, A. Grisard, D. Faye, E. Lallier, Z. Zhang, A. J. Boyland, J. K. Sahu, M. Ibsen, and W. A. Clarkson, “Broadly tunable single-frequency cw mid-infrared source with milliwatt-level output based on difference-frequency generation in orientation-patterned GaAs,” Opt. Lett. 33(13), 1413–1415 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. A milliwatt-level output was obtained in the 7.6-8.2 µm range from a 8 W fiber-amplified 1.5 µm diode laser and a 0.5 W Tm-doped fiber laser at 1.9 µm. Figure 5
Fig. 5 Measured Π°| and calculated (solid curve) difference frequency generation output versus signal wavelength.
presents a measured and a computed tuning curves. The excellent agreement between the two curves indicates that the OP-GaAs sample was close to a perfect 50% duty cycle grating.

The available mid-infrared power was appropriate for a methane sensing experiment, but other applications may require more powerful sources. The obvious solution for that is to use similar crystals in a continuous wave optical parametric oscillator (OPO) configuration. The reduction of propagations losses is then the key point to obtain reasonable thresholds and the first demonstration of such a device has indeed been reported very recently [13

13. L. A. Pomeranz, P. G. Schunemann, S. D. Setzler, C. Jones, and P. A. Budni, “Continuous-wave optical parametric oscillator based on orientation patterned gallium arsenide,” in CLEO: QELS-Fundamental Science, OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2012), paper JTh1I.4.

].

In nanosecond pulsed regime, the 0.02 cm−1 loss level is perfectly suited to efficient OPO operation. Applications such as directed infrared countermeasures demanding multi-watt level mid-IR sources thus strongly benefit from the advent of the OP-GaAs technology. To demonstrate its versatility, a compact fiber laser-pumped OPO has thus been built [14

14. A. Grisard, F. Gutty, E. Lallier, and B. Gérard, “Compact fiber laser-pumped mid-infrared source based on orientation-patterned gallium arsenide,” Proc. SPIE 7836, 783606 (2010). [CrossRef]

].

Starting from a remote commercial continuous wave fiber laser, a 25x30x6 cm module integrating a 50 kHz 40 ns Q-switched Ho:YAG laser and an OPO based on OP-GaAs was fabricated. A 3 W level output was obtained from this tunable OPO in the 3-5 µm range (signal + idler) with a 53% conversion efficiency and an unprecedented beam quality (M2 = 1.4). The output beam from the OPO also offers more than 3 W of additional power at the 2.1 µm pump wavelength. This compares very favorably with former designs based on PPLN crystals, both in terms of power and beam quality. Figure 6
Fig. 6 Left: compact fiber-laser pump OPO module. Right: power scaling of the mid-IR output from the OP-GaAs optical parametric oscillator.
shows what the device looks like in addition to more recent results obtained by Hildenbrand et al. using a more powerful pump [15

15. A. Hildenbrand, C. Kieleck, E. Lallier, D. Faye, A. Grisard, B. Gérard, and M. Eichhorn, “Compact efficient mid-infrared laser source: OP-GaAs OPO pumped by Ho3+:YAG laser,” Proc. SPIE 8187, 818715 (2011).

] and demonstrating that a 10 W level mid-IR source is a most probable prospect.

Last but not least, both continuous wave and pulsed regimes have been merged in an experiment targeting mid-infrared remote sensing by optical parametric amplification of a distributed feedback quantum cascade laser (QCL) in OP-GaAs [16

16. G. Bloom, A. Grisard, E. Lallier, C. Larat, M. Carras, and X. Marcadet, “Optical parametric amplification of a distributed-feedback quantum-cascade laser in orientation-patterned GaAs,” Opt. Lett. 35(4), 505–507 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Using a 3 mW DFB QCL at 4.5 µm and less than 3 W of average pump power from a 20 kHz 30 ns Q-switched Ho:YAG laser at 2.1 µm, it was possible to demonstrate a gain up to 53 dB (see Fig. 7
Fig. 7 Gain versus pump average power. Squares (Circles), experiment with a 41-mm-long (32-mm-long) crystal. Solid curves, theoretical fits with SNLO calculation; dotted curves, with non-depleted pump approximation.
). The amplified beam had a very good beam quality (M2 = 1.3) and its peak power reached 600 W.

5. Conclusion

The fabrication of Orientation-patterned Gallium Arsenide crystals has lately witnessed significant progress and this non-linear optical material has now reached maturity for several applications requiring mid-infrared photons with power or wavelength ranges not easily available through other sources.

OP-GaAs is routinely grown on 2-inch wafers at TRT with a simple process for initial wafer periodic patterning, resulting in the capability to produce 0.5 mm thick samples with several centimeters length. Thanks to the optimization of the growth process, absorption losses have been reduced down to 2%/cm or less and the sample thickness recently increased to the millimeter level. Such material improvements have enabled to demonstrate nanosecond pulsed OPOs with several watts of average output power in the 3 to 5 µm range and optical to optical conversion efficiencies of about 50%. They may also soon permit the realization of milljoule level sources and continuous wave devices with large tunability

Acknowledgments

This work has been partly supported by the French MoD DGA/UM-TER/CGN and by the European Commission through FP6 project VILLAGE (Versatile Infrared Laser source for Low-cost Analysis of Gas Emissions) and FP7 projects MIRSURG (Mid-Infrared Solid-State Laser Systems for Minimally Invasive Surgery) and IMPROV (Innovative Mid-infrared high Power source for resonant ablation of Organic based photovoltaic devices).

References and links

1.

E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, Orlando, 1985).

2.

L. A. Gordon, G. L. Woods, R. C. Eckardt, R. R. Route, R. S. Feigelson, M. M. Fejer, and R. L. Byer, “Diffusion-bonded stacked GaAs for quasi-phase-matched second-harmonic generation of a carbon dioxide laser,” Electron. Lett. 29(22), 1942–1944 (1993). [CrossRef]

3.

P. S. Kuo, K. L. Vodopyanov, M. M. Fejer, X. Yu, J. S. Harris, D. F. Bliss, and D. Weyburne, “GaAs optical parametric oscillator with circularly polarized and depolarized pump,” Opt. Lett. 32(18), 2735–2737 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

C. Kieleck, M. Eichhorn, A. Hirth, D. Faye, and E. Lallier, “High-efficiency 20-50 kHz mid-infrared orientation-patterned GaAs optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2 µm holmium laser,” Opt. Lett. 34(3), 262–264 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

S. Koh, T. Kondo, T. Ishiwada, C. Iwamoto, H. Ichinose, H. Yaguchi, T. Usami, Y. Shiraki, and R. Ito, “Sublattice reversal in GaAs/Si/GaAs (100) heterostructures by molecular beam epitaxy,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 37(Part 2, No. 12B), L1493–L1496 (1998). [CrossRef]

6.

C. B. Ebert, L. A. Eyres, M. M. Fejer, and J. S. Harris Jr., “MBE growth of antiphase GaAs films using GaAs/Ge/GaAs heteroepitaxy,” J. Cryst. Growth 201-202, 187–193 (1999). [CrossRef]

7.

E. Lallier and A. Grisard, “Quasi-phase matched nonlinear crystals,” in Encyclopedia of Optical Engineering (Marcel Dekker, 2002).

8.

E. Gil-Lafon, J. Napierala, D. Castelluci, A. Pimpinelli, R. Cadoret, and B. Gérard, “Selective growth of GaAs by HVPE: keys for accurate control of the growth morphologies,” J. Cryst. Growth 222(3), 482–496 (2001). [CrossRef]

9.

A. Grisard, F. Gutty, E. Lallier, B. Gérard, and J. Jimenez, “Fabrication and applications of orientation-patterned gallium arsenide for mid-infrared generation,” Phys. Status Solidi C 9(7), 1651–1654 (2012).

10.

L. A. Eyres, P. J. Tourreau, T. J. Pinguet, C. B. Ebert, J. S. Harris, M. M. Fejer, L. Becouarn, B. Gerard, and E. Lallier, “All-epitaxial fabrication of thick, orientation-patterned GaAs films for nonlinear optical frequency conversion,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 79(7), 904–906 (2001). [CrossRef]

11.

K. L. Vodopyanov, O. Levi, P. S. Kuo, T. J. Pinguet, J. S. Harris, M. M. Fejer, B. Gerard, L. Becouarn, and E. Lallier, “Optical parametric oscillation in quasi-phase-matched GaAs,” Opt. Lett. 29(16), 1912–1914 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

S. Vasilyev, S. Schiller, A. Nevsky, A. Grisard, D. Faye, E. Lallier, Z. Zhang, A. J. Boyland, J. K. Sahu, M. Ibsen, and W. A. Clarkson, “Broadly tunable single-frequency cw mid-infrared source with milliwatt-level output based on difference-frequency generation in orientation-patterned GaAs,” Opt. Lett. 33(13), 1413–1415 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

L. A. Pomeranz, P. G. Schunemann, S. D. Setzler, C. Jones, and P. A. Budni, “Continuous-wave optical parametric oscillator based on orientation patterned gallium arsenide,” in CLEO: QELS-Fundamental Science, OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2012), paper JTh1I.4.

14.

A. Grisard, F. Gutty, E. Lallier, and B. Gérard, “Compact fiber laser-pumped mid-infrared source based on orientation-patterned gallium arsenide,” Proc. SPIE 7836, 783606 (2010). [CrossRef]

15.

A. Hildenbrand, C. Kieleck, E. Lallier, D. Faye, A. Grisard, B. Gérard, and M. Eichhorn, “Compact efficient mid-infrared laser source: OP-GaAs OPO pumped by Ho3+:YAG laser,” Proc. SPIE 8187, 818715 (2011).

16.

G. Bloom, A. Grisard, E. Lallier, C. Larat, M. Carras, and X. Marcadet, “Optical parametric amplification of a distributed-feedback quantum-cascade laser in orientation-patterned GaAs,” Opt. Lett. 35(4), 505–507 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optical Materials

History
Original Manuscript: April 16, 2012
Revised Manuscript: June 28, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: July 2, 2012
Published: July 5, 2012

Virtual Issues
Advances in Optical Materials (2012) Optical Materials Express

Citation
Arnaud Grisard, Eric Lallier, and Bruno Gérard, "Quasi-phase-matched gallium arsenide for versatile mid-infrared frequency conversion," Opt. Mater. Express 2, 1020-1025 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ome/abstract.cfm?URI=ome-2-8-1020


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References

  1. E. D. Palik, Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids (Academic Press, Orlando, 1985).
  2. L. A. Gordon, G. L. Woods, R. C. Eckardt, R. R. Route, R. S. Feigelson, M. M. Fejer, and R. L. Byer, “Diffusion-bonded stacked GaAs for quasi-phase-matched second-harmonic generation of a carbon dioxide laser,” Electron. Lett.29(22), 1942–1944 (1993). [CrossRef]
  3. P. S. Kuo, K. L. Vodopyanov, M. M. Fejer, X. Yu, J. S. Harris, D. F. Bliss, and D. Weyburne, “GaAs optical parametric oscillator with circularly polarized and depolarized pump,” Opt. Lett.32(18), 2735–2737 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. C. Kieleck, M. Eichhorn, A. Hirth, D. Faye, and E. Lallier, “High-efficiency 20-50 kHz mid-infrared orientation-patterned GaAs optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2 µm holmium laser,” Opt. Lett.34(3), 262–264 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. S. Koh, T. Kondo, T. Ishiwada, C. Iwamoto, H. Ichinose, H. Yaguchi, T. Usami, Y. Shiraki, and R. Ito, “Sublattice reversal in GaAs/Si/GaAs (100) heterostructures by molecular beam epitaxy,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys.37(Part 2, No. 12B), L1493–L1496 (1998). [CrossRef]
  6. C. B. Ebert, L. A. Eyres, M. M. Fejer, and J. S. Harris., “MBE growth of antiphase GaAs films using GaAs/Ge/GaAs heteroepitaxy,” J. Cryst. Growth201-202, 187–193 (1999). [CrossRef]
  7. E. Lallier and A. Grisard, “Quasi-phase matched nonlinear crystals,” in Encyclopedia of Optical Engineering (Marcel Dekker, 2002).
  8. E. Gil-Lafon, J. Napierala, D. Castelluci, A. Pimpinelli, R. Cadoret, and B. Gérard, “Selective growth of GaAs by HVPE: keys for accurate control of the growth morphologies,” J. Cryst. Growth222(3), 482–496 (2001). [CrossRef]
  9. A. Grisard, F. Gutty, E. Lallier, B. Gérard, and J. Jimenez, “Fabrication and applications of orientation-patterned gallium arsenide for mid-infrared generation,” Phys. Status Solidi C9(7), 1651–1654 (2012).
  10. L. A. Eyres, P. J. Tourreau, T. J. Pinguet, C. B. Ebert, J. S. Harris, M. M. Fejer, L. Becouarn, B. Gerard, and E. Lallier, “All-epitaxial fabrication of thick, orientation-patterned GaAs films for nonlinear optical frequency conversion,” Appl. Phys. Lett.79(7), 904–906 (2001). [CrossRef]
  11. K. L. Vodopyanov, O. Levi, P. S. Kuo, T. J. Pinguet, J. S. Harris, M. M. Fejer, B. Gerard, L. Becouarn, and E. Lallier, “Optical parametric oscillation in quasi-phase-matched GaAs,” Opt. Lett.29(16), 1912–1914 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. S. Vasilyev, S. Schiller, A. Nevsky, A. Grisard, D. Faye, E. Lallier, Z. Zhang, A. J. Boyland, J. K. Sahu, M. Ibsen, and W. A. Clarkson, “Broadly tunable single-frequency cw mid-infrared source with milliwatt-level output based on difference-frequency generation in orientation-patterned GaAs,” Opt. Lett.33(13), 1413–1415 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. L. A. Pomeranz, P. G. Schunemann, S. D. Setzler, C. Jones, and P. A. Budni, “Continuous-wave optical parametric oscillator based on orientation patterned gallium arsenide,” in CLEO: QELS-Fundamental Science, OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2012), paper JTh1I.4.
  14. A. Grisard, F. Gutty, E. Lallier, and B. Gérard, “Compact fiber laser-pumped mid-infrared source based on orientation-patterned gallium arsenide,” Proc. SPIE7836, 783606 (2010). [CrossRef]
  15. A. Hildenbrand, C. Kieleck, E. Lallier, D. Faye, A. Grisard, B. Gérard, and M. Eichhorn, “Compact efficient mid-infrared laser source: OP-GaAs OPO pumped by Ho3+:YAG laser,” Proc. SPIE8187, 818715 (2011).
  16. G. Bloom, A. Grisard, E. Lallier, C. Larat, M. Carras, and X. Marcadet, “Optical parametric amplification of a distributed-feedback quantum-cascade laser in orientation-patterned GaAs,” Opt. Lett.35(4), 505–507 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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