The primary goal of the Phase I effort is to establish the feasibility of fabricating waveguides to realize a significant, (10 fold), increase in performance in the output power of a picosecond pulsed green laser without increasing the peak pump power. The ultimate goal is to develop a fiber pigtailed, compact, cost-effective 530 nm picosecond laser producing 10 mW average power at 80 MHz. In addition to achieving a more flexible laser source through higher output powers and higher pulse repetition frequencies, the higher efficiency enables the manufacture of lower cost 1 mW average power lasers by using lower power, lower cost pumps. Improving the overall performance (increased power, pulse repetition frequency and lifetime with reduced size and cost) will significantly increase the incorporation of this technology into a broad range of time-resolved bioscience applications and thus helping to accelerate new bioscience breakthroughs. In the Phase I effort, AdvR will utilize its experience with nonlinear optical frequency converters to fabricate improved frequency doubling waveguides resulting in a significant increase in pulsed output power from the current 1 mW average power at 40 MHz when using a PicoQuant MOFA 1064 pulsed laser. The key innovation in this effort is to combine three high payoff manufacturing approaches to increasing the second harmonic generation module's efficiency. They are: 1) using tapered, buried waveguide structures to significantly decrease input and output coupling losses (from 50% to 20%), 2) increasing internal waveguide conversion efficiency from 100%/W/cm2 to 300%/W/cm2 by optimizing the waveguide geometry (width and depth), and 3) increasing the overall length of the waveguide (from 1.5cm to 3cm).
The biosciences require the development of time-resolved techniques to investigate cellular functions at the molecular level. The ultimate goal of this SBIR effort is to develop a fiber pigtailed, compact, cost-effective 530 nm picosecond laser producing 10 mW average power at 80 MHz. The higher average power will provide a more flexible laser source, enabling higher pulse repetition frequencies and measurement speed for a variety of bioscience applications. In addition, more efficient waveguide doublers will require less pump power to meet the current 1 mW average power output specification, which will dramatically increase the lifetime of the overall laser system and decrease the pump laser requirements and cost, allowing more researchers to afford the equipment to carry out time-resolved fluorescence research, accelerating bioscience breakthroughs.