MIOMD-XI Speakers    
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1.  Prof. Linda J. Olafsen, Baylor University, USA
Late-Breaking Results: Nonlinear Temperature Variation of Resonant Pump Wavelength in Optically Pumped Mid-Infrared Semiconductor Lasers
Speaker Biography: Linda J. Olafsen grew up in Mount. Holly, New Jersey and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Physics at Princeton University in 1991. She then went to graduate school in Physics at Duke University, earning her Master’s degree in 1994 and completing her Ph.D. in 1997. Dr. Olafsen accepted a National Research Council postdoctoral research associateship at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. for two years before taking a faculty position at the University of Kansas in 1999, first as an Assistant Professor, receiving an ONR Young Investigator Award in 2001, and being promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 2005. She joined the faculty at Baylor University as an Associate Professor in 2006, where she has continued her research in mid-infrared semiconductor lasers, particularly through a novel tunable/resonant optical pumping technique. An active member of the Materials Research Society, she currently chairs the Book Review Board for the MRS Bulletin and is vice-chair of the Congressional Visits Day subcommittee, having visited Congress annually since 2007 to discuss the importance of sustained and predictable funding for basic research. She also is a member of APS, IEEE, OSA, DEPS, and ACS, and she has been a member of the Laser Electro-Optics Technology and Nanotechnology Advisory Committee at Texas State Technical College (Waco, TX) since 2009.

Summary: The type-II antimonide W-well laser is a strong candidate to span the 3 to 5 μm wavelength region, especially given recent progress in high-temperature and high-power operation of interband cascade lasers. Just as efficient carrier injection is necessary in electrically driven semiconductor lasers, there must be high absorption of the pump beam while minimizing the photon decrement to enhance the efficiency of optically pumped lasers. To increase pump absorption, the optical pumping injection cavity (OPIC) approach has been employed successfully to increase the absorption in the active region. In the W-OPIC design, a W-well active region is centered between distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) that serve as mirrors for an etalon cavity whose resonance at the pump wavelength λR results in multiple passes through the active region for greater absorption of the pump photons. GaSb spacers on each side of the active region can adjust the path length for a cavity of net optical thickness 2λR. Creating this etalon allows strong pump absorbance to be maintained with fewer W-wells and, consequently, less intervalence band absorption for higher power conversion efficiency [4]. Results are presented for a type-II W-OPIC laser designed for room temperature emission at ~3 µm. At temperatures ranging from 77 K to above room temperature, output power as a function of optical pumping intensity is measured as a function of optical pump wavelength emitted from a Nd:YAG-pumped optical parametric oscillator. For each temperature, there is a resonant pump wavelength at which the threshold pump intensity is minimized and the energy conversion efficiency is maximized.
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