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Proceedings Paper

Combined actively and passively Q-switched microchip laser
Author(s): Magnus Arvidsson; Bjorn Hansson; Martin Holmgren; Carsten Lindstrom
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Paper Abstract

Until now active or passive Q-switching have been used to achieve highly energetic laser pulses. Both these pulsing techniques have advantages as well as drawbacks. Passive Q- switching is extremely simple and need no electronic driving, but the emitted pulse has a large time jitter (100 ns to 1 ms) between the emitted pulses, which is detrimental in many applications. Active Q-switching on the other hand require advanced high voltage drive electronics which consume a substantial amount of electrical power, but the emitted pulse train is normally clean and well-behaved. In this paper we propose and demonstrate a novel Q-switched diode-pumped solid- state laser design, which combines the advantages of active and passive Q-switching, resulting in low time jitter as well as simple drive electronics with low power consumption. The plane-plane diode pumped laser consisted of a 0.5 mm long 3% Nd3+:YVO4 crystal acting as the gain medium, with the first mirror directly coated on the input face. The laser chip was followed by the active modulator, a 2 mm long z-cut LiNbO3 crystal, which in turn was followed by the saturable absorber, a 0.6 mm thick Cr4+:YAG crystal, and the output mirror. All elements were optically bonded together and the total cavity length including mirrors was 3.5 mm. The monolithic laser has a low jitter, here limited by our driving electronics to 85 ps, at a switching voltage of 300 V, compared to the V(pi ) of 5.2 kV. The pulse length is only 3 ns when the laser operates in combined Q-switched mode and 12 ns when passively Q-switched. In addition, multiple pulses caused by the active modulator is suppressed by the saturable absorber.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 May 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3265, Solid State Lasers VII, (27 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308663
Show Author Affiliations
Magnus Arvidsson, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
Bjorn Hansson, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
Martin Holmgren, Spectra Precision AB (Sweden)
Carsten Lindstrom, Spectra Precision AB (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3265:
Solid State Lasers VII
Richard Scheps, Editor(s)

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