Scientific advancements are continually improving the capability and spectrum coverage of laser sources. But in medicine, chemical sensing, defense, and material characterization there is a growing need for higher power or broader range laser systems with optical mode characteristics. And for specific applications, the value metric is not solely power or spectral range but also spatial homogeneity and divergence.
Navy researchers have developed an IR laser that combines multiple emitters through an optical waveguide. Each signal from an emitter coupled to an optical waveguide is combined to provide a spatially connected laser source with a single exit port. The system can be used to increase the total output power or for a combination of multiple emitters with different wavelengths for expanded spectral coverage out of the laser system. The emitters can be chip-based lasers fabricated on a single chip or bonded together. Such a system could have applications in spectroscopy, LIDAR, infrared countermeasures, laser surgery, and free space communications.
- Design reduces the complexity of beam combined sources in the mid-infrared and limits the number of failure points by isolating the coupling of the laser emitter to the fiber from beam combining
- System is compact with localized thermal and vibrational stabilization requirements which represent a size and weight benefit
- System is scalable to an arbitrary number of emitters while maintaining the same restrictions on stability per laser element resulting in a small footprint
- US patent 8,710,470 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers