The development of high-power GaAs-based ridge wave guide distributed feedback lasers is described. The lasers emit between 760 nm and 980 nm either in TM or TE polarization. Over a large current range, the lasers exhibit stable operation in a single transversal and longitudinal mode. A maximum continuous-wave output power of about 400 mW, a spectral linewidth below 1 MHz and a side mode suppression ratio greater than 50 dB have been demonstrated at room temperature. The distributed feedback is provided by first or second order gratings, formed in an InGaP/GaAsP/InGaP multilayer structure embedded into the p-AlGaAs cladding layer. Applications of such wavelength stabilized devices in non-linear frequency conversion, spectroscopy and for excitation of atomic transitions are discussed.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.