Abstract

A diffractive optical element (DOE) is used as a beam combiner for an actively phase-locked array of fiber lasers. Use of a DOE eliminates the far-field sidelobes and the accompanying loss of beam quality typically observed in tiled coherent laser arrays. Using this technique, we demonstrated coherent combination of five fiber lasers with 91% efficiency and M2=1.04. Combination efficiency and phase locking is robust even with large amplitude and phase fluctuations on the input laser array elements. Calculations and power handling measurements suggest that this approach can scale to both high channel counts and high powers.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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