Because of their low noise and low power consumption, 980-nm InGaAs strained quantum-well (QW) lasers are promising candidates as pumping light sources for Er3+-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs). High fundamental output powers of over 200 mW have been demonstrated by using the ridge or buried-ridge waveguide structure. However, long-term reliability of over 100000 h has yet to be proven. The lifetime of 980-nm lasers is limited by internal dark-line defects (DLDs) and catastrophic optical damage (COD) at facets. DLD failures can be significantly reduced by setting the well thickness to less than the critical thickness1 and by choosing proper growth conditions. COD failures are caused by nonradiative recombination at facets, and they can be prevented by proper facet passivation.2 To prevent COD failures, aluminum-free lasers, made of GalnP/GalnAsP,3 and a master-oscillator power amplifier4 (MOPA) have been proposed. Hydrocarbons in the N2 package have also been reported to bring about high rates of early COD failure.5 This paper focuses on the degradation mechanisms due to DLD and COD failures and clarifies that these types of failure do not occur within at least 100 000 h at 100 mW of output power. This study was conducted by performing accelerated aging tests of ambient temperature and light output power.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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