High Power Semiconductor Lasers

September 14, 2015
Integrated Photonics High

High-Power Semiconductor Lasers at the IEEE Photonics Society Summer Topical Meeting 2012

One of the topics in this year’s IEEE Photonics Society Summer Topical Meeting was High Power Semiconductor Lasers. The Meeting was held 9–11 July 2012 at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle, Washington. Attendees were able to visit the world-famous Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and sample the local restaurants. They enjoyed the view of Mount Rainer made possible by the beautiful weather during the conference—regardless of Seattle’s rainy reputation. Over 170 scientists and engineers attended, and judging by the attendance in the sessions they were split about equally among the three topics of this year’s Meeting. Despite being held on the West Coast of the USA, the High Power Semiconductor Laser sessions were heavily influenced by Europeans with over half of the organizing committee and nearly half of the authors hailing from Europe.

Sculpture by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly with the world-famous Space Needle in the background.

Although the Summer Topical Meeting is typically meant to be a place for the latest “hot topic” in Photonics, high-power semiconductor lasers have been on ­scientists minds since the invention of the laser diode 50 years ago. Despite this, the high-power community was being underserved without a good meeting for more scientific discussion on the physics of high-power semiconductor lasers and where the topic is headed. SPIE’s Photonics West is the most popular meeting for the high-power crowd, but the talks there tend to be more commercial and less about the physics. Several other conferences touch upon the topic (CLEO, CLEO Europe, IEEE Photonics Conference, and the Int’l Semiconductor Laser Conference), but none have created a large draw for the high-power community. Based on the response to this meeting and feedback from the participants, there does indeed appear to be a need for such a venue for the scientific community, which may lead to a more regular meeting of this group.
The first plenary talk was by Goetz Ebert, head of the Optoelectronics Department of the Ferdinand Braun Institute (Berlin, Germany). The Institute is one of the leading research organizations in high-power semiconductor lasers in Europe. Dr. Ebert gave an excellent review of some of their most recent work on broad-area, grating-stabilized, and tapered lasers developed at the Institute. The second plenary talk was by Erik Zucker, Senior Director of Product Development for High Power Lasers at JDSU (Milpitas, California). Dr. Zucker gave a very entertaining talk including a bit of the history of high-power semiconductor lasers, in particular at SDL (now JDSU) which pioneered the field for a couple of decades. He went on to discuss the key attributes of laser diodes: power, efficiency, etendue (brightness), reliability, and cost. He touched upon several of the key high-power laser manufacturers products and compared their brightness and discussed the trends for the future.

Plenary speaker Erik Zucker of JDSU wrapping up his presentation.

Source: photonicssociety.org
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