Abstract

We experimentally demonstrate the use of two different multifunctional grating couplers in surface-emitting lasers for improved beam quality and advanced beam profiles. The lasers used for the demonstration are grating-based unstable resonator lasers, each with a grating coupler for surface emission and beam shaping. The new design method, described in detail, allows for simultaneous optimization of arbitrary feedback and outcoupling characteristics of the grating coupler. The first coupler is designed to reduce feedback to the resonator that would otherwise disturb the operation of the laser and lower the beam quality and to produce an output beam focused to four spots. The second coupler is designed to provide the feedback needed to support the unstable resonator, eliminating one feedback grating, and simultaneously focus the output beam to a single spot. As far as we know, this is the first time such multifunctional couplers are used in grating-coupled surface-emitting lasers. The couplers provide near-diffraction-limited spots that are a considerable improvement compared with previous lasers with no feedback control in the couplers.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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