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Monolithic Q-switched waveguide laser fabricated by ultrafast laser inscription for pulsed lidar source

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22PA935
Agency Tracking Number: 222430
Amount: $149,991.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S11
Solicitation Number: SBIR_22_P1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-01-25
Small Business Information
150 Lucius Gordon Drive
West Henrietta, NY 14586-9687
United States
DUNS: 024590936
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Wendwesen Gebremichael
 (585) 355-2706
Business Contact
 Christophe Dorrer
Phone: (585) 355-2706
Research Institution

We plan to develop a monolithic Q-switched Waveguide Laser, using ultrafast laser inscription (ULI) technology. The proposed prototype is enabled by a Q-switched operation of waveguide realized by ULI inside diffusion-bonded laser media. Owing to its flexibility, ease for integration, and three-dimension nature, ULI of waveguides in laser materials and dielectric media enables transformative lidar system architectures.The proposed device integrates three components through direct ULI of waveguide inside two diffusion-bonded crystals as active laser media and as saturable absorber for Q-switching. The laser cavity is ended by a dichroic dielectric coating at the input and the output sides. This architecture will result in a monolithic nanosecond pulsed laser at 1064 nm leading to a low-cost, compact, and durable solution.The waveguide structure leads to better confinement and excellent overlap between pump and laser modes over the entire length of the media. This will lead to small lasing thresholds, high slope efficiency, and high output power.The proposed device addresses NASArsquo;s wavelength of interest for aerosol detection. The prototype and its technological translation and implementation are interesting for alignment-free, low-cost, weight, and power requirement of small platforms and applications, overcoming the drawbacks of current microchip laser systems for lidars. In the future, this will lead to more robust integrated ULI-based lidar systems at other wavelengths from near-surface, airborne, and spaceborne platforms.The offeror, Aktiwave LLC, is exceptionally well aligned for the technological development and commercialization of ultrafast-laser-based fabrications. Recently, the offeror demonstrated the lowest threshold and high slope efficiency ULI waveguide-based Nd:YAG continuous-wave laser at 1064 nm.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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