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The purpose of the conference is to highlight the recent progress in the field of vertical external cavity surface emitting lasers (VECSELs). In a VECSEL, the light is emitted perpendicular to the semiconductor gain media layers placed in an external cavity. This offers mode control enabling excellent transverse beam quality with multi-Watt output power levels. The external cavity also enables the integration of elements for nonlinear intracavity frequency conversion, wavelength tuning, or passive mode-locking.

Compared to external-cavity diode-pumped solid-state lasers, the VECSELs operate in much broader spectral regions owing to wavelengths versatility of semiconductor gain media. Direct CW emission from VECSELs has been demonstrated for the entire wavelength range covered by compound semiconductors, extending from blue to mid-IR. Moreover, efficient intra-cavity nonlinear frequency conversion allows to further broaden spectral coverage, reaching ultra-violet and terahertz emission, promoting VECSELs to a status of the most versatile laser type.

While high power, continuous-wave VECSELs have been widely used in medicine, spectroscopy, or for pumping of solid-state lasers, new applications are emerging taking advantage of the unique features they offer. For example, owing to their low-noise properties, high-power, and single-frequency wavelength-tunable operation, CW VECSELs are increasingly used in quantum-technology applications, such as ion-trapping. In parallel, mode-locked ultrafast VECSELs are opening new application opportunities in high-resolution spectroscopy, frequency metrology, and multiphoton microscopy.

A selection of invited papers will provide a comprehensive overview of the latest progress in this fast-developing field. In addition, contributed papers are solicited on all aspects of VECSEL research, including:
Best Student Presentation Award
The committee is pleased to announce that a cash prize of $500, donated by Coherent Inc., will be awarded for the best student presentation. Presentations will be judged by the committee based on scientific merit, impact, as well as clarity of the student presenter’s talk. While the manuscript will not be judged, it is expected.

To be eligible for consideration, the student must:
  • be a graduate or undergraduate full-time student
  • have conducted the majority of the work to be presented
  • be the submitting author and select “Yes” when asked if you are a full-time student
  • select yourself as the speaker
  • under TOPIC selection, choose “Consider for Best Student Paper Award”
  • be accepted to present an oral presentation
  • submit your manuscript online by the deadline
  • make the oral presentation.
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Conference 12404

Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) XII

31 January 2023 | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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  • 1: MECSELs
  • 2: Power Scaling
  • 3: Spectral Tailoring
  • 4: Novel Architectures
  • Posters-Tuesday
Session 1: MECSELs
31 January 2023 • 8:45 AM - 9:55 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
Session Chair: Mircea Guina, Tampere Univ. (Finland)
12404-1
Author(s): Hermann Kahle, Univ. Kassel (Germany)
31 January 2023 • 8:45 AM - 9:15 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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Membrane external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (MECSELs) have experienced a rapid progress in recent years. Based on the membrane geometry of MECSELs, an intrinsically excellent beam quality is one important benefit of this new vertically emitting laser kind. The latest developments will be discussed and an overview of future perspectives will be given. The most important recent progress, like continuous wave broadband tuning and anti-resonant gain membrane design play a major role.
12404-2
Author(s): Jake Daykin, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom); Jonathan R. C. Woods, Aquark Technologies Ltd. (United Kingdom); Daniel Heath, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom); Roman Bek, Twenty-One Semiconductors GmbH (Germany); James S. Wilkinson, Ben Mills, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom); Michael Jetter, Peter Michler, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany); Vasilis Apostolopoulos, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
31 January 2023 • 9:15 AM - 9:35 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We present continuous wave bi-frequency operation in an optically pumped membrane external-cavity surface-emitting laser (MECSEL). A laser ablation system utilising a digital micromirror device is used to define areas of intra-cavity loss by removing Bragg layers from the surface of the cavity mirror in a crosshair pattern with an undamaged central area. Our MECSEL simultaneously operates on two Hermite-Gaussian spatial modes, the fundamental and a higher order mode, by aligning the laser cavity to be centred on a masked area. We demonstrate bi-frequency operation with a wavelength separation on the order of 5 nm around 1005 nm.
12404-4
Author(s): Jake Daykin, Nicholas T. Klokkou, Stephen C. Richardson, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom); Jonathan R. C. Woods, Aquark Technologies Ltd. (United Kingdom); Roman Bek, Twenty-One Semiconductors GmbH (Germany); Jon Gorecki, James S. Wilkinson, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom); Michael Jetter, Peter Michler, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany); Vasilis Apostolopoulos, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
31 January 2023 • 9:35 AM - 9:55 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We present coherent laser arrays in a silicon photonics compatible waveguide geometry in optically pumped semiconductor membrane quantum well lasers (MQWLs) on oxidised silicon and silicon carbide substrates. Real and reciprocal space imaging is used to investigate the emission of the laser arrays and mutual coherence is seen to be maintained while operating on single and multiple longitudinal modes in each cavity. Further, we investigate writing laser cavity arrays through micro-structuring of the MQWL and also through the utilisation of a spatial light modulator (SLM) to define areas of gain in the MQWL by shaping the pump beam.
Break
Coffee Break 9:55 AM - 10:25 AM
Session 2: Power Scaling
31 January 2023 • 10:25 AM - 11:55 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
Session Chair: Juan L. Chilla, Coherent Corp. (United States)
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Author(s): Mark E. Kuznetsov, Excelitas Technologies Corp. (United States)
31 January 2023 • 10:25 AM - 11:15 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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It took thirty years from the early demonstration of optical pumping of semiconductor lasers in the 1960’s to the first modern Vertical-External-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser, VECSEL, in the 1990’s. It took another thirty years to today’s flourishing of these lasers, with their multitude of operating characteristics and applications. This talk reviews this history, with the emphasis on our work in a small startup company Micracor in the 1990’s, that brought these lasers from scientific curiosity to the powerful tool of science and technology today.
12404-6
Author(s): Nicolas Huwyler, Marco Gaulke, Jonas Heidrich, Matthias Golling, Ajanta Barh, Ursula Keller, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
31 January 2023 • 11:15 AM - 11:35 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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The key limiting factor for output power scaling of VECSELs is the thermal resistance of the structure owing to the reflector thickness and the heat conductivity of the semiconductor materials. We have successfully fabricated a flip-chip processed VECSEL emitting at 2 µm using a GaSb/AlAs0.08Sb0.92 hybrid Bragg reflector with 10.5 mirror pairs and a 100–nm copper layer. The flip-chip processed VECSEL reaches a record high continuous wave average output power of 3 W. The device thickness is reduced by 2.5 µm (36%) compared to the standard 19.5 layer semiconductor-only Bragg reflector design.
12404-15
Author(s): Ricky D. Gibson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States); Simon P. Tsaoussis, Univ. of Arizona (United States); Joshua Rollag, KBR, Inc. (United States), Air Force Research Lab. (United States); Catherine Nguyen, David Follman, Garrett D. Cole, Thorlabs Crystalline Solutions (United States); Sadhvikas J. Addamane, Sandia National Labs. (United States); Jerome V. Moloney, R. Jason Jones, Wyant College of Optical Sciences (United States)
31 January 2023 • 11:35 AM - 11:55 AM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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A mode-locked VECSEL is reported using a novel hybrid SESAM consisting of a semiconductor absorber region bonded to a curved dielectric partial reflector. The hybrid SESAM is realized by direct bonding of the saturable absorber to a commercially available ultrafast output coupler, nominally 99.4% reflectivity and GDD of < 20 fs2 with a radius of curvature of 10 cm. In a linear cavity where the curved output coupler is the hybrid SESAM, a pulse-width of 410 femtoseconds is achieved at a repetition rate of 4.2 GHz for a VECSEL operating at a wavelength of 1030 nm.
Break
Lunch/Exhibition Break 11:55 AM - 2:00 PM
Session 3: Spectral Tailoring
31 January 2023 • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
Session Chair: Alexander R. Albrecht, The Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
12404-7
Author(s): Jussi-Pekka Penttinen, Emmi Kantola, Sanna Ranta, Topi Uusitalo, Arttu Hietalahti, Roope Vuohenkunas, Mircea Guina, Vexlum Ltd. (Finland)
31 January 2023 • 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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Progress of commercial single-frequency VECSELs for quantum technology applications is reviewed. Availability of practical laser systems with specific wavelength matching an atomic transition is instrumental for the quantum technology research experiments and is becoming increasingly important for the upscaling of commercial quantum systems. To this end, we present a versatile commercial single-frequency VECSEL platform operating in the ultraviolet, visible and NIR -spectral ranges. The suitability of the laser systems for a wide variety of quantum information processing tasks, including spectroscopy, photoionization, and laser cooling is demonstrated.
12404-8
Author(s): Anthony D. Kim, Yu Wu, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States); Sadhvikas J. Addamane, Sandia National Labs. (United States); Benjamin S. Williams, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
31 January 2023 • 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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Terahertz (THz) quantum-cascade VECSELs are strong candidates for frequency-agile local oscillators for next generation heterodyne instruments for astrophysical observations. In this work, a THz QC-VECSEL with a tuning range of 2.48 THz to 2.95 THz (17% fractional) is demonstrated. Additionally, the effects of the output coupler are studied since the frequency dependent reflectance of the output coupler causes variation in the laser properties with tuning. To suppress Fabry-Perot oscillations, a silicon output coupler with an etch-based anti-reflective coating is demonstrated.
12404-9
Author(s): Mingyang Zhang, Alexander R. Albrecht, The Univ. of New Mexico (United States); Gar-Wing Truong, Garrett D. Cole, Thorlabs Crystalline Solutions (United States); Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, The Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
31 January 2023 • 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We demonstrate an in-well pumped high-power hybrid MECSEL (H-MECSEL) formed by sandwiching the MQW semiconductor gain membrane between two SiC heat spreaders, one of which is mirrored with a DBR. We obtain 28 W CW output power around 1178 nm with a slope efficiency of 38% using multipass pumping at 1070 nm. Employing intracavity spectral filtering and frequency doubling, we demonstrate single-mode operation with 8 W of output power at 589 nm and a linewidth of ~4 MHz. We demonstrate preliminary (low-power) wavelength stabilization to the Na D2a transition. Work is underway for full power stabilization towards an on-sky demonstration.
12404-10
Author(s): Marcel Rattunde, Steffen Adler, Peter Holl, Elke Diwo-Emmer, Rolf Aidam, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF (Germany)
31 January 2023 • 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We report on the development of 2.1 µm GaSb-based VECSEL, specially designed to meet the requirements for quantum-frequency-converter pumping. Different approach for the heat-management of the VECSEL-chips were tested and will be compared in regard to the needed specifications. Long-term stability and noise measurements as well as means for wavelength stabilization will be presented.
Break
Coffee Break 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Session 4: Novel Architectures
31 January 2023 • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
Session Chair: Robert G. Bedford, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
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Author(s): Simon P. Tsaoussis, Wyant College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States); Sadhvikas J. Addamane, Sandia National Labs. (United States); Ronald J. Jones, Jerome V. Moloney, Wyant College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
31 January 2023 • 4:00 PM - 4:20 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We build and model coupled GHz rep rate mode-locked VECSEL cavities sharing a common gain medium. The goal is to understand both experimentally and theoretically, gain competition between pulse trains in each cavity while varying relative rep rates and explore applications.
12404-11
Author(s): Chris Hessenius, DeUVe Photonics (United States)
31 January 2023 • 4:20 PM - 4:50 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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The open cavity concept of a VECSEL is often used to incorporate additional intracavity elements such as: filters, nonlinear crystals, and SESAMs. This leads to expanded functionality of devices to include: larger spectral coverage, single frequency operation, short pulse generation, etc. Here we discuss the design of coupled cavity VECSELs where multiple laser cavities can be “linked” in succession to allow for even more advanced output characteristics.
12404-13
Author(s): Eilam Morag, Sandra Li, Anthony D. Kim, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States); Sadhvikas J. Addamane, Sandia National Labs. (United States); Benjamin S. Williams, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
31 January 2023 • 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We demonstrate a THz quantum-cascade vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser (QC-VECSEL) based on a disordered amplifying metasurface. One-dimensional disorder is introduced into the metasurface by pseudo-randomly varying the width of uniformly spaced ridge antennas. A mid-sized QC-VECSEL was characterized as a function of its external cavity length. In general, short cavities exhibited more modes: as many as seven were observed. Typical beam patterns were overall circular, albeit with several hot spots. We hypothesize that extending the disorder to two dimensions and increasing the metasurface size should increase the mode number by at least a factor of 10.
12404-14
Author(s): Marco Gaulke, Jonas Heidrich, Nicolas Huwyler, Matthias Golling, Ajanta Barh, Ursula Keller, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
31 January 2023 • 5:10 PM - 5:30 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 54 (Lower Mezzanine South)
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We report on a SESAM modelocked GDD balanced VECSEL embedding the active region in quaternary Al15Ga85AsSb. The GDD is flattened by a multilayer semiconductor dielectric top-coating allowing for stable femtosecond operation with a standard SESAM and high-quality YAG Brewster windows. We avoid tradeoffs that would limit the output power. This GDD balanced VECSEL is the next step towards higher level of integration: pump-DBR implementation, demonstration of 1:1 modelocking, and absorber integration will yield a 2-µm MIXSEL, where gain medium and absorber are grown in one monolithic structure.
Posters-Tuesday
31 January 2023 • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PST | Moscone Center, Level 2 West
Conference attendees are invited to attend the LASE poster session on Tuesday evening. Come view the posters, enjoy light refreshments, ask questions, and network with colleagues in your field. Authors of poster papers will be present to answer questions concerning their papers. Attendees are required to wear their conference registration badges to the poster sessions.

Poster Setup: Tuesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Poster authors, view poster presentation guidelines and set-up instructions at http://spie.org/PWPosterGuidelines.
12404-3
Author(s): Philipp Tatar-Mathes, Tampere Univ. (Finland)
31 January 2023 • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PST | Moscone Center, Level 2 West
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We demonstrate a MECSEL with broad emission characteristics at 660nm. MECSELs represent a cost-effective light source with high brightness and near-diffraction limited beam quality. Their potential application as a sweepable light source for optical coherence tomography is being investigated. The absence of a DBR gives MECSELs an enhanced freedom of design, such as the incorporation of two or more different quantum wells in the same active region. The incorporation of two transparent heat spreaders gives MECSEL devices enhanced heat removal characteristics when compared to VECSELs. Our latest results show 18 nm tuning range at 670nm, and a linewidth of 0.17nm.
Conference Chair
Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
The Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Program Committee
Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
Program Committee
Coherent, Inc. (United States)
Program Committee
Tampere Univ. (Finland)
Program Committee
Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Program Committee
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Program Committee
ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Program Committee
M Squared Lasers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Program Committee
Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF (Germany)
Additional Information

Download call for papers PDF


What you will need to submit
  • Title
  • Author(s) information
  • Speaker biography
  • 250-word abstract for technical review
  • 100-word summary for the program
  • Keywords used in search for your paper (optional)
Note: Only original material should be submitted. Commercial papers, papers with no new research/development content, and papers with proprietary restrictions will not be accepted for presentation.