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Proceedings Paper

Thulium fiber laser-pumped mid-IR OPO
Author(s): Daniel Creeden; Min Jiang; Peter A. Budni; Peter A. Ketteridge; Scott D. Setzler; York E. Young; John C. McCarthy; Peter G. Schunemann; Thomas M. Pollak; Parviz Tayebati; Evan P. Chicklis
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Paper Abstract

Fiber lasers are advancing rapidly due to their ability to generate stable, efficient, and diffraction-limited beams with significant peak and average powers. This is of particular interest as fibers provide an ideal pump source for driving parametric processes. Most nonlinear optical crystals which provide phase-matching to the mid-IR at commercially available fiber pump wavelengths suffer from high absorption above 4μm, resulting in low conversion efficiencies in the 4-5μm spectral region. The nonlinear optical crystals which combine low absorption in this same spectral region with high nonlinear gain require pumping at longer wavelengths (typically >1.9μm). In this paper, we report a novel mid-IR OPO pumped by a pulsed thulium-doped fiber laser operating at 2-microns. The eyesafe thulium-fiber pump laser generates >3W of average power at >30kHz repetition rate with 15-30ns pulses in a near diffraction-limited beam. The ZnGeP2 (ZGP) OPO produces tunable mid-IR output power in the 3.4-3.99μm (signal) and the 4.0-4.7μm (idler) spectral regions in both singly resonant (SRO) and doubly resonant (DRO) formats. The highest mid-IR output power achieved from this system was 800mW with 20% conversion efficiency at 40kHz. In a separate experiment, the 3W of 2-micron light was further amplified to the 20W level. This amplified output was also used to pump a ZGP OPO, resulting in 2W of output power in the mid-IR. To our knowledge, these are the first demonstrations of a fiber-pumped ZGP OPO.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 April 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6952, Laser Source Technology for Defense and Security IV, 69520S (14 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.775196
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Creeden, BAE Systems (United States)
Min Jiang, Spectrode, LLC (United States)
Peter A. Budni, BAE Systems (United States)
Peter A. Ketteridge, BAE Systems (United States)
Scott D. Setzler, BAE Systems (United States)
York E. Young, BAE Systems (United States)
John C. McCarthy, BAE Systems (United States)
Peter G. Schunemann, BAE Systems (United States)
Thomas M. Pollak, BAE Systems (United States)
Parviz Tayebati, Spectrode, LLC (United States)
Evan P. Chicklis, BAE Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6952:
Laser Source Technology for Defense and Security IV
Mark Dubinskii; Gary L. Wood, Editor(s)

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