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Proceedings Paper

High-power slab-based Tm:YLF laser for in-band pumping of Ho:YAG
Author(s): S. So; J. I. Mackenzie; D. P. Shepherd; W. A. Clarkson
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Paper Abstract

Several remote sensing applications require pulsed sources in the mid-infrared spectral regime with high average powers and good beam quality. Ho:YAG lasers have a number of attractive features for high power generation at 2.1microns, either for direct applications or as a pump source for parametric conversion to longer infra-red wavelengths. Unfortunately, direct diode pumping of Ho:YAG is not practical, so a two-step process is generally employed in which one or more diode-pumped thulium-doped lasers are used to directly pump (in-band) the Ho:YAG laser. In response, we have investigated a slab-based architecture for scaling the output power of a Tm:YLF laser to the 100W power regime at 1.91microns, corresponding to a strong Ho:YAG absorption line. Multiple slab lasers with moderate beam quality in the plane of the slab can be combined to efficiently end-pump a low-doping concentration Ho:YAG rod in a pump-guided configuration. In a preliminary demonstration, two 2at.% doped Tm:YLF slab lasers with a spatially multiplexed output of 74W were employed to end-pump a 1.5mm diameter, 80mm long, 0.25at.% Ho:YAG barrel-polished rod. A two-mirror plano-concave cavity, with 11% output coupling transmission, produced a CW output of 38W with a slope efficiency of 60% with respect to the incident power. Q-switched operation at a repetition rate of 20Hz with two intra-cavity Brewster plate polarizers and a 60% transmitting output coupler produced 14mJ pulses with a pulse duration (FWHM) of 18ns. This architecture offers an attractive route for future high-power 2micron lasers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6871, Solid State Lasers XVII: Technology and Devices, 68710R (14 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.761822
Show Author Affiliations
S. So, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
J. I. Mackenzie, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
D. P. Shepherd, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
W. A. Clarkson, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6871:
Solid State Lasers XVII: Technology and Devices
W. Andrew Clarkson; Norman Hodgson; Ramesh K. Shori, Editor(s)

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