ECDL update, etc.

After I was done with my free-running diode lasers, I was focusing on building a robust ECDL as a prototype and reference model. Some preliminary info is here. Concurrently I was playing with the remodelled commercial ECDL described here. Here a pic of the latest prototype:

ECDL proto

Both lasers work reasonably well, but the main problem ist that at higher powers, the zones of single mode operation of typical DVD diodes becomes very small and thus the lasers can drift out over time. To combat/control this problem, I had developed a noise detector which works very well for free-running, non-ECDL lasers. As for ECDL lasers, I found that they sometimes run multi-mode without the presence of extra noise in the light output. This would be of course an important problem for day-to-day use, and I am spending most of the time with trying to get arund it. It becomes worse with increasing power, and problematic beyond 70-80mW for common diodes.

It seems that one needs to very carefully select a diode, adjust the operation point and the optical properties of the resonator. Particularly well behaved are the diodes that also work well free running, like the ML101J27 and the HL6385DG. It seems that one can typically achieve up to approx 80 and 100mW, resp., in relatively stable single mode operation. But I need to spend more time investigating; there is a lot of variation between individual diodes and the number of parameters in the game is so large that I don’t yet have a clear picture. Moreover I am running out of the Opnext HL6385DG diodes I got moderately priced via a group buy.

Other things I was busy with were finding better collimators; so far I mostly used the familiar Lens-27 from Roithner, which has an extremely high efficiency but a relatively poor beam quality; some holographers had complained about this. I found that the G-650-1 (obtained from here) has a much better profile while having only slightly less power. Some of my findings are here.


2 Responses to “ECDL update, etc.”

  1. Romain Pasquiet Says:


    Thank you for your blog, very interesting !

    I have 3 Aixiz acrylic lens in a RGB projector and I would like to change it to increase red power and beam quality. There isn’t any more lens-27.

    650-G-1 look good but it’s quite expansive. I know that you tested the GS-8019A from Roithner. Can you give the beam difference between these lens ? (divergence and beam diameter).

  2. rxlaser Says:


    I can’t tell offhand details, but I know that the 650-G-1 is the better lens, it has high power and good beam quality, it makes a clean dot. The GS-8019A also has a very clean dot, perhaps one of the best, but this is due to the clipping of the beam due to a large focal length; so the beam is relatively thick, like 5mm at exit, but the transmission is not great, it is similar to the Aixis (it is a multi-lens collimator as well).
    Some info is here:

    All the best,

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