Novel Heat-Sinking Method Results in Record-Breaking Performance

3/1/1999 - 6-99r
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Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) report they have demonstrated a new diamond-pressure-bonding (DPB) technique for heat-sinking semiconductor lasers resulting in record-breaking performance.

Drs. William Bewley and Jerry Meyer, of NRL's Optical Physics Branch of the Optical Sciences Division reports, "We have demonstrated a new DPB technique for heat-sinking semiconductor lasers which greatly enhances the maximum continuous-wave (cw) operating temperature for optically pumped semiconductor lasers. At the same time the new technique permits devices with their epitaxial sides adjacent to the heat-sink to be illuminated from the top. Additionally, the new technique is more convenient than conventional epitaxial-side-down heat-sinking procedures and also forms an excellent thermal bond."

The research team reports that when this technique is applied to the optical-pumping of mid-IR W lasers emitting wavelengths between 3.0 and 7.0 microns, the method yields maximum continuous wave (cw) operating temperatures that significantly exceed any reported previously for semiconductor lasers in the same wavelength range. The demonstration enabled research team members to reach near-room-temperature cw operation beyond three microns and had extended the maximum wavelength for interband III-V lasers to 7 microns.

"The minimal amount of processing required to fabricate high-performance optically-pumped cw laser devices is a significant advantage of this technique. This time saving technique is especially useful when a large number of wafers must be tested in succession. A further advantage of our technique is we are now able to recycle the same diamond heat-sink repeatedly following a light cleaning between uses. In fact all of the testing conducted during the demonstration employed a single piece of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond. This same approach is also applicable to the epi-side-down heat sinking of electrically-pumped semiconductor lasers with minor modification," concluded Drs. Bewley and Meyer.

This work was sponsored by the Office of Naval research (ONR).

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