High Peak Power Cavity Dumped Two Micron Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electro-Optics


Department of Electro-Optics


Advisor: Andrew Sarangan


There exists a plethora of applications which require high-powered, pulsed laser systems within the military and scientific communities. One increasingly prevalent use is in Light Detection and Radiation (LiDAR), which currently operates mainly in the one-micron range utilizing Q-switched solid state and fiber lasers. However, a demand has risen to bring these systems into the two-micron range for its openings in the atmosphere as well as eye-safety in the target environment. Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) can help fill this gap by offering the high powered semiconductor gain in tandem with the good beam quality and flexibility offered by the external cavity. The light can then be stored in a low-loss cavity to later be extracted by dumping the cavity in multi-nanosecond long temporal pulses. In this report, the design and construction of a two-micron, cavity-dumped VECSEL will be discussed. The process from the characterization of the gain through the design and loss minimization of the cavity, through to cavity-dumping and the results will be detailed.Utilizing a 1.5 meter long cavity with an intracavity Pockels cell and thin film polarizer, peak powers of 510W in a 10ns pulse was attained. These powers were attained by gain switching the setup and minimizing the loss within the cavity to 4% per round trip. The center wavelength of the system was 2037nm. Furthermore, the spatial mode quality showed the laser to be operating single mode, with an M2 below 1.02.


Optics, Engineering, VECSEL, Cavity Dumping, Semiconductor, Laser, Light

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