A light source consisting of a laser diode with a metal-coated facet where a small aperture has been created is presented. The very-small aperture lasers (VSAL) is capable of more than a 104× increase of output power over coated tapered fibers with comparable aperture diameters. This extends the range of applications possible with near-field optics and increases the signal-to-noise ratios and data rates obtained in existing applications. Further, the structure can simultaneously generate light and detect sample reflectivity changes. Its application to high-density optical data storage is discussed. Using a 250-nm-square aperture VSAL at 980 nm wavelength, rewritable recording and readback of 250-nm-diam marks at 7.5 Gb/in2 has been demonstrated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)