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Spie Press Book

Introduction to Laser Diode-Pumped Solid State Lasers
Author(s): Richard Scheps
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Book Description

This Tutorial Text covers a wide range of material, from the basics of laser resonators to advanced topics in laser diode pumping. The subject matter is presented in descriptive terms that are understandable by the technical professional who does not have a strong foundation in fundamental laser optics.

Book Details

Date Published: 11 January 2002
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9780819442741
Volume: TT53

Table of Contents
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Part I. Fundamentals of Laser Diode Pumping

1. Introduction
1.1 Advantages of diode pumping

2. Basic Concepts
2.1 Lasers
2.2 Resonators
2.3 Laser resonator transverse modes
      2.3.1 TEM00
      2.3.2 Multimode operation
      2.3.3 Advantages of single transverse mode operation
      2.3.4 Longitudinal modes
2.4 Laser diodes for pumping solid state lasers
      2.4.1 Single-stripe diodes
      2.4.2 Single-mode diodes
      2.4.3 Pulsed and cw diode operation
      2.4.4 Diode manufacturing terms
      2.4.5 Laser diode arrays
      2.4.6 Laser diode beam spatial properties
2.5 Optical fiber concepts
      2.5.1 Numerical aperture
      2.5.2 Core size
      2.5.3 Fiber-coupled single-stripe diodes: Advantages
      2.5.4 Fiber-coupled laser diode arrays
2.6 Light ducts

Part II. Basic End-pumped Laser Design

3. Design of a TEM00 Continuous-Wave Diode-pumped Nd:YAG Laser
3.1 Considerations: End-pumped or side-pumped?
3.2 Selecting the gain element
      3.2.1 Laser host crystals
      3.2.2 Laser rod specifications
3.3. Selecting the laser diode
      3.3.1 Pump diode center wavelength and spectral bandwidth
      3.3.2 Temperature tuning
      3.3.3 Bandwidth control
      3.3.4 Current tuning and mode hop
3.4 Selecting the resonator
      3.4.1 Resonator length
      3.4.2 Resonator configuration
      3.4.3 Rod coatings
3.5. Selecting the pump optics
      3.5.1 Pump optics
      3.5.2 Astigmatism correction
      3.5.3 Focusing lens
      3.5.4 Polarization combination of laser diodes

4. Operation of the Continuous-Wave Diode-pumped Laser
4.1 Resonator gain and loss: Findlay-Clay analysis
4.2 Threshold
4.3 Optimum output coupling
4.4 Laser output and slope efficiency
      4.4.1 Efficiency factors
4.5 Dependence of the laser output power on the diode wavelength

Part III. Advanced Concepts for Diode Pumping

5. Power Scaling Considerations
5.1 Scaling the diode pump power
      5.1.1 Thermal lensing
      5.1.2 Other thermal effects
5.2 Novel designs for end pumping
      5.2.1 Penta-prism
      5.2.2 Diode-pumped ring laser
5.3 Fiber-coupled laser diode arrays: Power density
5.4 Spectral bandwidth of diode arrays

6. Side-pumped Designs
6.1 Zig-zag slab laser
6.2 Novel side-pumped design

7. Other Output Wavelengths for Nd-doped Lasers
7.1 1.3 μm
7.2 946 nm

8. Diodes for Pumping Other Gain Elements
8.1 900-nm diodes
8.2 670-nm diodes

9. Examples of Other Diode-pumped Lasers
9.1 Yb-doped Lasers
9.2 Cr-doped tunable solid state lasers
9.3 Dye lasers

10. Intracavity Elements: Q-switching, SHG, and Single- Longitudinal-Mode Operation
10.1 Acousto-optic Q-switch for high repetition rate
10.2 Intracavity SHG for visible laser output
10.3 Single-longitudinal-mode lasers
10.4 Ring lasers
10.5 "Microchip" lasers



This book arose from a series of courses I presented on laser diode pumping. It covers a wide range of material, from the basics of laser resonators to advanced topics in laser diode pumping. The subject matter is presented in descriptive terms that will be understandable to the technical professional who does not have a strong foundation in fundamental laser optics. For the scientist or engineer with a more extensive background in laser design, the range and depth of the topics covered will provide a new and hopefully helpful perspective on development in this highly active area.

By presenting the material in courses to students from diverse backgrounds I have received numerous constructive comments that have been incorporated into the text. The modifications have enhanced the continuity of the technical material. As a result, this Tutorial Text represents an evolution from interactive classroom teaching to self-directed learning. I trust that the information presented will prove useful for those interested in diode pumping.

As the text is tutorial in nature, I have chosen not to include a comprehensive list of references. I have included a few general references and have cited papers that describe certain techniques in more detail than could be included in this book. In general, however, I have not provided the type of reference listing that one might expect in a review article on this subject and have therefore not been able to acknowledge much of the high-quality research that has been produced in this area over the past several decades.

Some of the material will become dated over time. The basic information presented in this book of course will not be affected by future developments, but for laser diodes the quoted costs and maximum output power levels will change. However, conclusions that are based on current (November 2000) numbers are readily modified when the relevant factors change. The book is generally explicit in terms of how these conclusions are reached, and the reader should have no problem including updated cost data using the paradigm provided in the text.

I want to end this section by thanking SPIE for offering me the opportunity to publish this book, and particularly Rick Hermann for helping overcome many of the difficulties that presented themselves. I also want to thank my family for their advice and support, my friends in France and the UK who made an important difference in my life, and my scientific colleagues, especially Joe Myers, who helped with the development of the concepts presented in the text.

Richard Scheps
San Diego, California

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