We report what is to our knowledge the first operation of a planar dielectric tapered-waveguide laser. The waveguide laser is fabricated by potassium-ion exchange in -doped BK7 glass and consists of a single-mode channel waveguide of a few micrometers’ width followed by a linear taper up to a broad region with a width of . A slope efficiency of 42% is found both in the tapers and in standard channel waveguides fabricated upon the same substrate, indicating that the tapers and the channels have similar internal losses; hence the low-loss nature of the tapered beam expansion. The output from either end of the tapered structure is found to be nearly diffraction limited.
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