Jones, Ronald Jason
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHigh-power, single-frequency, narrow-linewidth lasers emitting at tailored wavelength are desired for many applications, especially for precision spectroscopy. By way of a free-space resonator, optically pumped semiconductor lasers (OPSLs), a.k.a. vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VECSELs), can provide near diffraction-limited, high-quality Gaussian beams and are scalable in output power. Free space resonators also allow the insertion of the birefringent filter and the etalon to enforce single-frequency operation. In addition, the emission wavelengths of OPSLs are tailorable through bandgap engineering. These advantages above make OPSL a strong candidate of laser sources for spectroscopic applications including atomic spectroscopy as well as optical lattice clocks. In this research, a single-frequency laser source with high power is demonstrated by applying the injection-locking technique on OPSLs for the first time. The behaviors of the injection-locked OPSL are studied by varying parameters such as output coupling, injection wavelengths and injection power. It was found that the best injection wavelength is by approximately 2 nm shorter than the free-running slave laser at any given pump power. Below the lasing threshold for free-running operation, the laser starts the stimulated emission process as soon as it is pumped, working as a resonant amplifier. With proper parameters, the output power of the injection-locked laser exceeds the output power of its free-running condition. Over 9 W of single-frequency output power at 1015 nm is achieved. The output beam is near-diffraction-limited with Mₓ² = 1.04 and My² = 1.02. By analyzing the surface photoluminescence (PL) and the output performance of the laser, the saturation intensity of OPSLs is estimated to be 100 kW/cm² when the passive loss of 1.4% is assumed. The injection-locked system adds fairly low phase noise to that of the master laser. By measuring the beat note between the master laser and the injection-locked laser, the RMS values of the phase noise are 0.112 rad and 0.081 rad when using the T = 3% and T = 4% output couplers respectively.
Degree ProgramGraduate College