By broadening the stripe width of the active waveguide region, it is possible to extract high optical powers from semiconductor broad area lasers. However, a weak output beam quality, optical filamentation, and high peak power densities will result, which are invoked by the amplification of higher order modes. We show an approach to influence the optical field inside the resonator by integrating optical phase structures directly into the waveguide. Those elements offer the possibility to enlarge the active gain area for the desired fundamental laser mode, while additional diffraction losses for higher order modes are generated, thus achieving an improved beam quality. We report on considerations in designing those elements and demonstrate a first experimental realization.
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