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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information on semiconductor laser engineering and reliability issues, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Semiconductor Laser Engineering, Reliability and Diagnostics: A Practical Approach to High Power and Single Mode Devices (Hardcover)
Excellent discussion of engineering, reliability and test issues for semiconductor lasers. This is material that does not feature strongly in most laser textbooks. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark in recent semiconductor laser literature, 24 Jun 2013
This review is from: Semiconductor Laser Engineering, Reliability and Diagnostics: A Practical Approach to High Power and Single Mode Devices (Hardcover)
Review by / posted on behalf of:
Prof. em. Dr. Heinz Jäckel
High Speed Electronics and Photonics
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Book Review of:
"Semiconductor Laser Engineering, Reliability and Diagnostics: A Practical Approach to High Power and Single Mode Devices". By Peter W. Epperlein

The book "Semiconductor Laser Engineering, Reliability and Diagnostics" by Dr. P.W. Epperlein is a landmark in the recent literature on semiconductor lasers because it fills a longstanding gap between many excellent books on laser theory and the complex and challenging endeavor to fabricate these devices reproducibly and reliably in an industrial, real world environment.

Having worked myself in the early research and development of high power semiconductor lasers, I appreciate the competent, complete and skillful presentation of these three highly interrelated topics, where small effects have dramatic consequences on the success of a final product, on the ultimate performance and on the stringent reliability requirements, which are the name of the game.

As the title suggests the author addresses three tightly interwoven and critical topics of state-of-the-art power laser research. The three parts are: device and mode stability engineering (chapter 1, 2), reliability mechanisms and reliability assessment strategies (chapter 3, 4, 5, 6) and finally material and device diagnostics (chapter 7, 8, 9) all treated with a strong focus on the implementation. This emphasis on the complex practical aspects for a large-scale power laser fabrication is a true highlight of the book.

The subtle interplay between laser design, reliability strategies, advanced failure analysis and characterization techniques are elaborated in a very rigorous and scientific way using a very clear and easy to read representation of the complex interrelation of the three major topics. I will abstain from trying to provide a complete account of all the topics but mainly concentrate on the numerous highlights.

The first part 1 "Laser Engineering" is divided in two chapters on basic electronic-optical, structural, material and resonator laser engineering on the one side, and on single mode control and stability at very high, still reliable power-levels with the trade-off between mirror damage, single mode stability on the other side. To round up the picture less well-known concepts and the state-of-the-art of large-area lasers, which can be forced into single-mode operation, are reviewed carefully. The subtle and complex interplay, which is challenging to optimize for a design for reliability and low stress as a major boundary condition is crucial for the design. The section gives a rather complete and well-referenced account of all relevant aspects, relations and trade-offs for understanding the rest of the book.

The completeness of the presentation on power laser diode design based on basic physical and plausible arguments is mainly based on analytic mathematical relations as well as experiments providing a new and well-balanced addition for the power diode laser literature in particular. Modern 2D self-consistent electro-optical laser modeling including carrier hole burning and thermal effects - this is important because the weak optical guiding and gain-discrimination depend critically on rather small quantities and effects, which are difficult to optimize experimentally - is used in the book for simulation results, but is not treated separately.

The novel and really original, "gap-filling" bulk of the book is elaborated by the author in a very clear way in the following four chapters in the part 2 "Laser Reliability" on laser degradation physics and mirror design and passivation at high power, followed then by two very application oriented chapters on reliability design engineering and practical reliability strategies and implementation procedures. This original combination of integral design and reliability aspects - which are mostly neglected in standard literature - is certainly a major plus of this book. I liked this second section as a whole, because it provides excellent insights in degradation physics on a high level and combines it in an interesting and skillful way with the less "glamorous" (unfortunately) but highly relevant reliability science and testing strategies, which is particularly important for devices operating at extreme optical stresses with challenging lifetime requirements in a real word environment.

Finally, the last part 3 "Laser Diagnostics" comprising three chapters, is devoted mainly to advanced experimental diagnostics techniques for material integrity, mechanical stress, deep level defects, various dynamic laser degradation effects, surface- and interface quality, and most importantly heating and disordering of mirrors and mirror coatings. The topics of characterization techniques comprising micro-Raman- and micro-thermoreflectance-probing, 2K photoluminescence spectroscopy, micro-electroluminescence and photoluminescence scanning, and deep-level-transient spectroscopy have been pioneered by the author for the specific applications over many years guaranteeing many competent and well represented insights. These techniques are brilliantly discussed and the information distributed in many articles by the author has been successfully unified in a book form.

In my personal judgment and liking, I consider the parts 2 and 3 on reliability and diagnostics as the most valuable and true novel contribution of the book, which in combination with the extremely well-covered laser design of part 1 clearly fill the gap in the current diode laser literature, which in this detail has certainly been neglected in the past.

In summary, I can highly recommend this excellent, well-organized and clearly written book to readers who are already familiar with basic diode laser theory and who are active in the academic and industrial fabrication and characterization of semiconductor lasers. Due to its completeness, it also serves as an excellent reference of the current state-of-the-art in reliability engineering and device and material diagnostics.
Needless to mention that the quality of the book, its representations and methodical structure meet the highest expectation and are certainly a tribute from the long and broad experience of the author in academic laser science and the industrial commercialization of high power diode lasers.
In my opinion, this book was a pleasure to read and due to its quality and relevance deserves a large audience in the power diode laser community!

Reviewed by:
Prof. em. Dr. Heinz Jäckel
High Speed Electronics and Photonics
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich, Switzerland
June 16, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for teaching, 18 Jun 2013
This review is from: Semiconductor Laser Engineering, Reliability and Diagnostics: A Practical Approach to High Power and Single Mode Devices (Hardcover)
UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO

Dipartimento di Fisica / Laboratorio di Nanoscienze Cordinatore Prof. Lorenzo Pavesi

Dear Dr. Peter W. Epperlein,

Following your request, I am here writing my personal view about your book entitled Semiconductor Laser Engineering, Reliability and Diagnostics.

This book represents a well thought description of three fundamental aspects of laser technology: the functioning principles, the reliability and the diagnostics. From this point of view, and, as far as I know, this is a unique example of a book where all these aspects are merged together resulting in a well-balanced presentation. This helps the reader to move with ease between different concepts since they are presented in a coherent manner and with the same terminology, symbols and definitions.

The book reads well. Despite the subtitle indicates that it is a practical approach, the book is also correct from a formal point of view and presents the necessary equations and derivations to understand both the physical mechanisms and the practicalities via a set of useful formulas. In addition, there is the more important aspect of many real-life examples of how a laser is actually manufactured and which the relevant parameters that determine its behaviour are. It impresses the amounts of information that are given in the book: this would be more typical of a thick handbook on semiconductor laser than of an agile book. Dr. Epperlein was able to identify the most important concepts and to present them in a clear though concise way.

I am teaching a course on Optoelectronics and I'm going to advise students to refer to this book, be-cause it has all the necessary concepts and derivations for a systematic understanding of semicon-ductor lasers with many worked-out examples, which will help the student to grasp the actual prob-lems of designing, manufacturing, testing and using semiconductor lasers. All the various concepts are joined to very useful figures, which, if provided to instructors as files, can be a useful add-on for the use of the book as text for teaching. Concepts are always detailed with numbers to give a feeling of their practical use.

In conclusion, I do find the book suitable for my teaching duties and will refer it to my students.

Best regards,

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Pavesi
Head of the Department of Physics
Head of the Nanoscience Laboratory
University of Trento, Italy
31 May 2013
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