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Proceedings Paper

High-power 2-um diode-pumped Tm:YAG laser
Author(s): Raymond J. Beach; Steven B. Sutton; Eric C. Honea; Jay A. Skidmore; Mark A. Emanuel
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Paper Abstract

Using a scalable diode end-pumping technology developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory we have demonstrated a compact Tm:YAG laser capable of generating greater than 50 W of cw 2 micrometer laser output power. The design and operational characteristics of this laser, which was built originally for use in assessing laser surgical techniques, are discussed. The 2 micrometer radiation produced by the 3F4 - 3H6 transition of Tm3+ has many practical applications because it is strongly absorbed by water and also because it is an 'eye-safe' wavelength. The strong absorption of 2 micrometer radiation by water makes this transition a very attractive candidate for performing laser surgical procedures as most tissue types are predominately composed of liquid water. The fact that 2 micrometer radiation is considered 'eye-safe' makes this transition attractive for laser range finding and remote sensing applications where other laser wavelengths could pose a safety hazard. At sufficiently high doping densities, Tm3+ exhibits a beneficial two-for-one quantum pump efficiency enabling well developed AlGaAs laser diode arrays to be used as efficient excitation sources. Many applications requiring 2 micrometer laser radiation such as remote sensing, laser radar, anti sensor, sensor spoofing, and OPO pumping have driven the development of diode pumped all solid state TM3+ laser systems because of their potential for efficiency, compactness, and ruggedness. Here we focus on Tm3+:YAG and the scalable diode end-pumping technology developed at LLNL which enables higher average power operation of diode pumped Tm3+ laser systems than has previously been possible. To date we have demonstrated cw operation of this laser to power levels of 51 W. The end-pumping technology used is the same as was previously used to demonstrate a 100 mJ Q-switched Nd:YLF laser. (Truncated.)

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 March 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2698, Solid State Lasers V, (25 March 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.236152
Show Author Affiliations
Raymond J. Beach, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Steven B. Sutton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Eric C. Honea, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Jay A. Skidmore, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Mark A. Emanuel, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2698:
Solid State Lasers V
Richard Scheps, Editor(s)

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