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4 May 1999 Widely tunable high-duty-cycle semiconductor terahertz lasers
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Germanium terahertz (THz) lasers based on a heavy hole-light hole population inversion within the valence bands show strong promise for widespread applications due to their unparalleled frequency tuning range and high output power up to several Watts. Germanium lasers have attractive laser properties: tunability from 1 to 4 THz, high finesse of 106 with line widths below 1 MHz and linear polarization. Laser operation is possible with small mm- sized permanent magnets and closed-cycle refrigeration. Since 1995 we have increased the duty cycle (laser on-time) of such lasers from 10-5 up to 2.5 X 10-2 (2.5%). We report on our current research efforts aimed at achieving continuous wave emission. These efforts include a reduction of the active laser crystal volume from typical values of 30 - 60 mm3 to and perhaps below 1 mm3 and materials and electric field homogeneity improvements to enhance the conversion efficiency. A planar contact geometry is suggested to allow improved heat sinking. Our planned applications include but are not limited to airborne and satellite based research for the study of molecules in the upper atmosphere or in star-forming regions of the universe.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Erik Bruendermann, Danielle R. Chamberlin, and Eugene E. Haller "Widely tunable high-duty-cycle semiconductor terahertz lasers", Proc. SPIE 3613, Solid State Lasers VIII, (4 May 1999);

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