Chip-carrier thermal barrier and its impact on lateral thermal lens profile and beam parameter product in high power broad area lasers
High power broad area diode lasers with high optical power density in a small focus spot are in strong commercial demand. For this purpose, the beam quality, quantified via the beam parameter product (BPP), has to be improved. Previous studies have shown that the BPP is strongly affected by current-induced heating and the associated thermal lens formed within the laser stripe. However, the chip structure and module-assembly related factors that regulate the size and the shape of the thermal lens are not well known. An experimental infrared thermographic technique is used to quantify the thermal lens profile in diode lasers operating at an emission wavelength of 910 nm, and the results are compared with finite element method simulations. The analysis indicates that the measured thermal profiles can best be explained when a thermal barrier is introduced between the chip and the carrier, which is shown to have a substantial impact on the BPP and the thermal resistance. Comparable results are observed in further measurements of samples from multiple vendors, and the barrier is only observed for junction-down (p-down) mounting, consistent with the barrier being associated with the GaAs-metal transition.