Optical Engineering • Open AccessPalm-top size megawatt peak power ultraviolet microlaser
The development of a very compact, highly efficient, megawatt peak power, subnanosecond pulse width, 266 nm ultraviolet (UV) microlaser is reported. It contains a specially designed passively Q-switched Nd∶YAG/Cr 4+ ∶YAG microchip laser whose high output peak power of 13 MW enables an efficient wavelength conversion without using any optics before the nonlinear crystals. The subnanosecond pulse width region, which delivers high peak power even at moderate pulse energy, is very useful for an efficient wavelength conversion. We achieve 73% second harmonic generation efficiency using a LiB 3 O 5 (lithium triborate) crystal and 45% fourth harmonic generation efficiency using a β−BaB 2 O 4 (β -barium borate) crystal. As a result, we obtain 650 μJ, 4.3 MW peak power, 150 ps, and 100 Hz pulse output at 266 nm. We use an original design for the nonlinear crystal holders to reduce the size of the microlaser. This palm-top size 266 nm UV microlaser will be useful for many applications, such as materials microprocessing, pulsed laser deposition, UV laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, and photoionization.