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Alfalight Achieves World-Record Laser Diode Power Conversion Efficiency


RIO GRANDE, PR (Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) 2004 Annual Meeting)| November 10, 2004   Alfalight, Inc., a technology innovator and manufacturer of highly efficient and reliable high-power diode lasers, today announced that it has set a world record for power conversion efficiency in 976 nm diode laser bars. Developed with support from the DARPA Super High Efficiency Diode Sources (SHEDS) program, Alfalight has demonstrated a 50 watt, 976 nm laser bar with 71% power conversion efficiency (PCE) at 25°C and 73% efficiency at 10°C. These results were presented by Manoj Kanskar, vice president of Research and Development of Alfalight, at the conference on Wednesday morning. This achievement puts Alfalight well ahead of schedule in the Phase I SHEDS challenge to deliver 65% PCE diode laser bars to DARPA by March 2005, and approaches the 80% PCE targeted for September 2006 as part of SHEDS Phase II.

“The efficiency of high-performance diode lasers developed through the SHEDS program is critical to the development of high power diode-pumped laser systems that are important to both DARPA and to the commercial laser industry,” commented Dr. Martin Stickley, SHEDS program manager at DARPA.

“Alfalight has now established the benchmark for high-power diode laser efficiency,” said Tom Earles, chief technology officer of Alfalight. “The past several months have yielded several breakthroughs that rapidly took us from June’s 65% efficiency in a 4 watt single-emitter to over 71% in a 50 watt laser bar. We will integrate these unique high-efficiency Aluminum-Free Active-region (ALFA) diode laser designs into our next generation of commercial products.”

The Alfalight team achieved this high efficiency by examining the various sources of loss in the laser and taking steps to remedy each one. Careful bandgap engineering increased the efficiency of carrier injection into the quantum well, the confinement structure was altered to decrease the laser’s operating voltage, and waveguide adjustments reduced the losses from scattering and absorption of lasing photons. Progressing toward the 80% SHEDS goal will likely incorporate more aggressive techniques that confine the carriers in two or even three dimensions, further enhancing device efficiency.

About Alfalight

Alfalight, Inc. is a technology innovator and manufacturer of highly efficient and reliable high-power diode lasers for industrial, defense, and telecommunications markets worldwide. The Madison, Wisconsin-based company’s advanced Aluminum-Free Active region (ALFA) diode lasers provide industry-leading efficiency, reliability, power and brightness. Alfalight has exclusive licenses to patents that include high-power narrow-spectrum lasers, single-mode lasers, and short-wavelength lasers. Alfalight’s current high-power diode laser product line includes both multimode bars and fiber-coupled single emitters. For more information, visit


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