JGM Associates (JGMA) is developing Mini MOPA ™ laser products based on the company’s recently patented diode-pumped, bulk-solid-state VHGM (tm) amplifier technology. [See Optics Communications 252: 117 (2005)]. Visit this site for periodic updates on Mini MOPA developments.

Although Yb-doped fiber amplifiers are typically more efficient, prospective relative advantages of high-gain VHGM amplifiers include:

–  Minimal unwanted nonlinear effects in the amplifier (no SPM, SRS, SBS)
–  High amplified pulse energy without optical damage
–  Robust to optical feedback and transients
–  No photodarkening
–  Improved radiation hardness
–  And possibly, in some situations, smaller size and lower cost when multiple oscillator and/or amplifier stages are needed.

The master-oscillator power-amplifier (MOPA) configuration offers great flexibility for tailoring laser performance to the needs of specific applications. A key objective of our Mini MOPA product development effort will be to exploit VHGM technology to develop ultra-compact laser devices with unique performance capabilities, thereby fostering new instrumentation products that employ embedded laser sources. We are developing a “suite” of Mini MOPA products that involve mating the same VHGM amplifier with a variety of different semiconductor diode laser, microchip laser, and other miniature diode-pumped solid-state laser oscillators. These OEM-style lasers will be used in laser-based equipment manufactured by others for scientific, industrial, biomedical, and military / aerospace applications.

JGMA’s first Mini MOPA devices will provide average 1064 nm power levels in the 1W to >10W range using a single VHGM amplifier stage. Future additions to the product line will achieve higher power levels by adding VHGM amplifier stages:

–  Single-frequency cw MOPA

–  Variable-ns-pulse MOPA (5-500 ns, continuously variable duration and PRR)

–  Sub-nanosecond EO Q-switched MOPA (500 ps to 1 ns, low timing jitter)

–  1 ns passively Q-switched microchip MOPA

–  50 ps and 100 ps microchip MOPAs

–  Gain-switched laser diode MOPA

–  High-energy 1064 nm MOPA (100 mJ, 10 Hz, 10 ns)

High beam quality will enable efficient generation of 1064 nm harmonic wavelengths, and other wavelengths, using these MOPAs with appropriate nonlinear conversion methods.

In addition to Nd-doped materials, VHGMs can be designed with Tm-, Ho-, Yb- and Er-doped gain media to make Mini MOPAs at wavelengths other than 1064 nm.