We demonstrate 1.5-W continuous-wave output power from a vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) based on InGaAs quantum wells as the gain medium. The VECSEL is pumped by the output of a single-bar diode-laser array at 814 nm and produces an optical-to-optical efficiency of 19%. The high output power is made possible by the use of a sapphire window optically contacted to the intracavity semiconductor surface for heat removal. We demonstrate the good beam quality of the VECSEL output by obtaining 1-W output from a single-mode fiber for 1.5 W launched with simple lenses. Pulsed operation produces a maximum peak power of ∼4.4 W and maximum average power of ∼2 W.
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