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Proceedings Paper

50W CW output power and 12mJ pulses from a quasi-2-level Yb:YAG ceramic rod laser end-pumped at the 969nm zero-phonon line
Author(s): Christian Fries; Marco Weitz; Christian Theobald; Patric v. Löwis of Menar; Jürgen Bartschke; Johannes A. L'huillier
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Paper Abstract

With the advent of high power and narrow bandwidth 969 nm pump diodes, direct pumping into the upper laser level of Yb:YAG and hence quasi-2-level lasers became possible. Pumping directly into the emitting level leads to higher quantum efficiency and reduction of non-radiative decay. Consequently, thermal load, thermal lensing and risk of fracture are reduced significantly. Moreover pump saturation and thermal population of uninvolved energy-levels in ground and excited states are benefical for a homogenous distribution of the pump beam as well as the reduction of reabsorption loss compared to 3-level systems, which allows for high-power DPSS lasers. Beside continuous-wave (cw) operation, nanosecond pulses with a repetition rate between 1 and 5 kHz are an attractive alternative to flashlamp-pumped systems (10-100 Hz) in various measurement applications that require higher data acquisition rates because of new faster detectors. Based on measurements of the absorption and a detailed numerical model for pump beam distribution, including beam propagation and saturation factors, power-scaling of a ceramic rod Yb:YAG oscillator was possible. Finally a cw output power of 50 W with 33 % pump efficiency at 1030 nm has been demonstrated (M2 < 1.2). Nanosecond pulses have been produced by cavity-dumping of this system. The cavity-dumped setup allowed for 3-10 ns pulses with a pulse energy of 12.5 mJ at 1 kHz (M2 < 1.1). In order to achieve these results a systematic experimental and numerical investigation on gain dynamics and the identification of different stable operating regimes has been carried out.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 February 2015
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9342, Solid State Lasers XXIV: Technology and Devices, 93421O (20 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2079401
Show Author Affiliations
Christian Fries, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)
Marco Weitz, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)
Christian Theobald, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)
Patric v. Löwis of Menar, Xiton Photonics GmbH (Germany)
Jürgen Bartschke, Xiton Photonics GmbH (Germany)
Johannes A. L'huillier, Photonik-Zentrum Kaiserslautern e.V. (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9342:
Solid State Lasers XXIV: Technology and Devices
W. Andrew Clarkson; Ramesh K. Shori, Editor(s)

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