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Feedback-Induced Catastrophic Optical Mirror Damage (COMD) on 976nm Broad Area…

Single Emitters with Different AR Reflectivity - Photonics West 2014

We have carried out a comprehensive study on 976nm single emitters with different AR coatings (1%, 3%, 4%, and 5%), which have been exposed to optical feedback to investigate damages caused by back-reflected light and how to prevent them. By observing the near-field pattern while varying the probe current, we got information about the influence on filamentation and on peak-power densities with and without external optical feedback. For constant feedback strength, filamentation became more pronounced and more dynamic with increasing current. We observed bistable and chaotic "jumping" of high-intensity filaments. For usual operation currents and external feedback strengths of ≥4%, single emitters with low AR coating show COMDs; their positions correlate with excessive peaking in the near-field pattern. Finally we found that an increasing AR reflectivity depletes the influence of feedback light on the near-field pattern as well as on the emission spectra and lowers the risk of COMD.

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