Diode lasers are semiconductor laser devices based on laser diodes. Although the terms diode laser and laser diode are often used with the same meaning, it is appropriate to distinguish the terms: the diode laser is a laser device, which may sometimes consist only of a single laser diode, but may also contain additional items:
- The laser diode may be combined with an external optical resonator, so that the device is an external-cavity diode laser.
- A diode laser device may contain multiple laser diodes with some optics for beam combining (for example spectral beam combining).
- A diode laser may also include additional optics outside the laser resonator, such as a beam collimator or a beam shaper, means for coupling the light to an optical fiber (→ fiber-coupled diode lasers or pigtailed diode lasers), or means to provide optical feedback, e.g. in order to reduce the emission linewidth.
- In some cases, a device for nonlinear frequency conversion is also included.
- A diode laser may be provided with a housing, which may also contain means for temperature stabilization of the laser diode and a laser diode driver. See also the article on laser diode modules.
Applications of diode lasers are mentioned in the article on laser diodes.
The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains 68 suppliers for diode lasers. Among them: