Binary phase diffraction gratings are shown to couple light coherently from a laser array into a single on-axis beam. The diffraction grating, designed to split a single beam into a specific number of equal intensity diffraction orders, is placed inside the cavity formed by the laser array and a common output mirror. The grating superimposes the light beams from the lasers in the array and produces a far-field pattern with the same divergence as that of a single laser. Six GaAlAs lasers from an antireflection-coated linear array were combined with a coupling efficiency of 68.4%. The far field of the combined GaAlAs lasers consisted of a single on-axis Gaussian beam.
© 1987 Optical Society of America
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