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Optically pumped planar waveguide lasers, Part I: Fundamentals and fabrication techniques
The tremendous interest in the field of waveguide lasers in the past two decades is largely attributed to the geometry of the gain medium, which provides the possibility to store optical energy on a very small dimension in the form of an optical mode. This allows for realization of sources with enhanced optical gain, low lasing threshold, and small footprint and opens up exciting possibilities in the area of integrated optics by facilitating their on-chip integration with different functionalities and highly compact photonic circuits. Moreover, this geometrical concept is compatible with high-power diode pumping schemes as it provides exceptional thermal management, minimizing the impact of thermal loading on laser performance. The proliferation of techniques for fabrication and processing capable of producing high optical quality waveguides has greatly contributed to the growth of waveguide lasers from a topic of fundamental research to an area that encompasses a variety of practical applications. In this first part of the review on optically pumped waveguide lasers the properties that distinguish these sources from other classes of lasers will be discussed. Furthermore, the current state-of-the art in terms of fabrication tools used for producing waveguide lasers is reviewed from the aspects of the processes and the materials involved.
Progress in Quantum Electronics (2011) Vol.35(6) pp.159–239
Copyright University of Southampton 2006