WIAS Preprint No. 2764, (2020)

Mode competition in broad-ridge-waveguide lasers


  • Köster, Jan-Philipp
  • Putz, Alexander
  • Wenzel, Hans
    ORCID: 0000-0003-1726-0223
  • Wünsche, Hans-Jürgen
  • Radziunas, Mindaugas
    ORCID: 0000-0003-0306-1266
  • Stephan, Holger
    ORCID: 0000-0002-6024-5355
  • Wilkens, Martin
  • Zeghuzi, Anissa
  • Knigge, Andrea

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 78A60 35Q60 78-04 78A50


  • High-brightness laser diodes, ridge-waveguide lasers, device simulation, traveling-wave model, modal analysis, beam steering, coherent mode coupling




The lateral brightness achievable with high-power GaAs-based laser diodes having long and broad waveguides is commonly regarded to be limited by the onset of higher-order lateral modes. For the study of the lateral-mode competition two complementary simulation tools are applied, representing different classes of approximations. The first tool bases on a completely incoherent superposition of mode intensities and disregards longitudinal effects like spatial hole burning, whereas the second tool relies on a simplified carrier transport and current flow. Both tools yield agreeing power-current characteristics that fit the data measured for 5 to 23 µm wide ridges. Also, a similarly good qualitative conformance of the near and far fields is found. However, the threshold of individual modes, the partition of power between them at a given current, and details of the near and far fields show differences. These differences are the consequence of a high sensitivity of the mode competition to details of the models and of the device structure. Nevertheless, it can be concluded concordantly that the brightness rises with increasing ridge width irrespective of the onset of more and more lateral modes. The lateral brightness 2W · mm¯¹ 1mrad¯¹ at 10MW · cm¯²2 power density on the front facet of the investigated laser with widest ridge (23 µm) is comparable with best values known from much wider broad-area lasers. In addition, we show that one of the simulation tools is able to predict beam steering and coherent beam

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