A vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) with a twisted-mode configuration is demonstrated. This architecture is particularly advantageous for power scaling of single-frequency VECSELs employing multiple gain mirrors in folded cavities. In such a configuration, some of the gain mirrors are inherently at the fold, and the lasing spectrum becomes unstable. This is caused by four waves interfering, destabilizing the standing wave pattern at the quantum wells. We show that the lasing spectrum can be narrowed by employing a twisted-mode configuration, which stabilizes the standing-wave pattern at the gain mirror. Furthermore, single-frequency output of more than 10 W at 1178 nm is demonstrated for a VECSEL employing two gain mirrors in a standing-wave cavity. In comparison, the output power for operation with one gain mirror only was 7.4 W when operating in single frequency. The choice of wavelength for the work reported in this paper is motivated by the opportunity to demonstrate compact VECSEL-based guide star lasers for adaptive optics via frequency doubling to the sodium D2 resonance at 589 nm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics