Wavelength Stabilized High-Power Diode Lasers for Alkali Atom Pumping
This Phase I SBIR proposal is submitted to address the needs of researchers needing high power narrow spectral linewidth diode laser pump sources for alkali vapor lasers. Diode-pumped alkali vapor lasers (DPALs) can be most efficiently pumped with spectrally-stabilized laser diode arrays (LDAs) with very narrow linewidths (a few GHz.) This allows DPAL operation at lower pressure as well as increased efficiency due to optimized absorption of the pump energy. With an efficient optical pump source, DPALs have the potential for scaling to kilowatt (KW) or megawatt (MW) power levels for industrial and military applications. A main hurdle to achieving these power levels has been the availability of high-power narrow spectral linewidth laser diode pump sources. Photodigm proposes an alternative method for diode laser stabilization based on newly emergent Guided-Mode Resonant Filter (GMRF) mirror technology. These mirrors possess both wavelength and angular selectivity with narrowband spectral linewidths as low as 1 GHz achievable. GMRF mirrors are presented as an enabling technology to realize scalable narrow-linewidth wavelength-stabilized laser diode pump sources for DPAL applications. The availability of these high-power spectroscopic pump sources would also find use in industrial and medical applications such as laser machining and spin-exchange optical pumping (SEOP).
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