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Thermal Management of Quantum Cascade Lasers in an individually Addressable Array Architecture

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Technical Report

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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States

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There are a number of military and commercial applications for high-power laser systems in the mid-to-long-infrared wavelength range. By virtue of their demonstrated watt-level performance and wavelength diversity, quantum cascade laser QCL and amplifier devices are an excellent choice of emitter for those applications. To realize the power levels of interest, beam combining of arrays of these emitters is required and as a result, array technology must be developed. With this in mind, packaging and thermal management strategies were developed to facilitate the demonstration of a monolithic QCL array operating under CW conditions. Thermal models were constructed and simulations performed to determine the effect of parameters such as array-element ridge width and pitch on gain region temperature rise. The results of the simulations were considered in determining an appropriate QCL array configuration. State-of-the-art micro-impingement cooling along with an electrical distribution scheme comprised of AlN multi-layer technology were integrated into the design. The design of the module allows for individual electrical addressability of the array elements, a method of phase control demonstrated previously for coherent beam combining of diode arrays, along with access to both front and rear facets. Hence, both laser and single-pass amplifier arrays can be accommodated. A module was realized containing a 5 mm cavity length monolithic QCL array comprised of 7 elements on 450 m pitch. An output power of 3.16 W was demonstrated under CW conditions at an emission wavelength of 9 microm.

Subject Categories:

  • Lasers and Masers
  • Thermodynamics

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