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Proceedings Paper

888 nm pumping of Nd:YVO4 for high-power high-efficiency TEM00 lasers
Author(s): Louis McDonagh; Ralf Knappe; Achim Nebel; Richard Wallenstein
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Paper Abstract

Nd:YVO4 is a widely used gain medium in commercial lasers providing up to several tens of watts in a diffraction limited beam. Its high gain favors high repetition rates and short pulses in nanosecond Q-switched and picosecond mode-locked regimes. However, output power is limited by strong thermo-optical effects leading to an aberrated thermal lens and ultimately the crystal's fracture. In this contribution, we present the optimized pumping of vanadate at 888 nm, benefiting from polarization-independent absorption, reduced quantum defect and very low absorption coefficients compared to the common pump wavelengths of 808 and 880 nm. After a presentation of the principle and the key characteristics of a high-power fiber-coupled end-pumped multimode oscillator, a series of systems based on this pumping technique are presented. A compact 60W high-efficiency TEM00 CW oscillator first proves the potential for high-power high-beam-quality systems. A CW intracavity-doubled system provided 62 W of power at 532 nm. A cavity-dumped Q-switched oscillator providing up to 47 W of average power with 6 ns long pulses at all repetition rates was investigated. Passive mode-locking of an oscillator providing 56 W of output power was achieved with a saturable absorber mirror. Finally, a high-power oscillator was amplified with high efficiency in a power amplifier based on the same pump/crystal configuration. The wide range of systems demonstrated illustrates the simplicity and flexibility of 888 nm pumping for extending the benefits of vanadate in the higher power range.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 2007
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6451, Solid State Lasers XVI: Technology and Devices, 64510F (19 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.700200
Show Author Affiliations
Louis McDonagh, Technische Univ. Kaiserslautern (Germany)
Ralf Knappe, Lumera Laser GmbH (Germany)
Achim Nebel, Lumera Laser GmbH (Germany)
Richard Wallenstein, Technische Univ. Kaiserslautern (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6451:
Solid State Lasers XVI: Technology and Devices
Hanna J. Hoffman; Ramesh K. Shori; Norman Hodgson, Editor(s)

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