Commercial 1.55-μm extended-cavity semiconductor lasers provide single-mode operation that can be continuously tuned over a range larger than 100 nm without mode hopping. But such performance requires delicate factory adjustment and high mechanical stability of the external cavity. Furthermore, at high emission power the tuning range is limited to small values because of the annoying multimode operations that sometimes occur. We have shown that the alignment constraints can be relaxed by use of an intracavity photorefractive filter. Here we present new results obtained with a crystal with low absorption and high photorefractive gain. We demonstrate that, without inducing excessive additional loss, we can preserve single-mode emission at an output power higher than the maximum power obtained in the absence of a photorefractive crystal over the full tuning range of the laser.
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