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A novel process for the passivation of mirror facets of Al-free active-region high-power semiconductor diode lasers is presented. Designed for technological simplicity and minimum damage generated within the facet region, it combines laser bar cleaving in air with a two-step process consisting of 1) removal of thermodynamically unstable species and 2) facet sealing with a passivation layer. Impurity removal is achieved by irradiation with beams of atomic hydrogen, while zinc selenide is used as the passivating medium. The effectiveness of the process is demonstrated by operation of 808-nm GaAsP-active ridge-waveguide diode lasers at record optical powers of 500 mW for several thousand hours limited only by bulk degradation.
Date of Publication: May 2005