Low-Cost AlGaAs Arrays For Solid State Laser Pumps
Project Title:Low-Cost AlGaAs Arrays For Solid State Laser Pumps
Bedford, MA 01730
Principal Investigator:Linden, Kurt J.
Solid state lasers such as Nd:YAG are being used as intense sources of optical radiation
for commercial and military applications. NASA's interest in such lasers is for
use on a polar orbiting space platform to perform critical experiments to measure
atmospheric aerosols and molecular species. Convnetionally pumped with flashlamps,
these lasers havelow power conversion efficiency and short lifetimes. By using AlGaAs
diode laser arrays as optical Nd:YAG laser pumps, high power conversion efficiencies
and improved reliability values are possible. The proposed program offers two innovative
concepts, both based on Spire's established GaAs/AlGaAs concentrator solar cell technology.
The first concept is based on the use of MOCVD to grow highly uniform, large area
wafers for use in fabricating low cost diode laser arrays. The cost and yields of
MOCVD material are significantly more favorable than those of LPE grown material.
The second concept involves the application of Spire-developed GaAs concentrator
cell technologies to diode laser arrays. Semiconductor wafer and thermal packaging
cos considerations are the promary driving forces which lead to the prsent high costs
of diode laser arrays. Use of the MOCVD AlGaAs solar cell technolog is expected
to lead to significant cost reductions.