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Proceedings Paper

Q-switching with single crystal photo-elastic modulators
Author(s): F. Bammer; R. Petkovsek
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Paper Abstract

An overview is given about experiments with a new method for Q-switching lasers at a constant pulse repetition frequency. It uses inside the laser resonator a Single Crystal Photo-Elastic Modulator (SCPEM). This consists of one piezo-electric crystal electrically excited on a mechanical resonance frequency. In resonance mechanical stresses are induced that lead via the photo-elastic effect to a strongly modulated birefringence. Polarized light going through such an oscillating crystal will experience a significant modulation of its polarization and of transmission through a polarizer. Suitable materials should not be optically active, as it is for example the case for SiO2, and should allow the excitation of a longitudinal oscillation with an electric field perpendicular to the travelling direction of the light. Crystals of the group 3m, like LiTaO3 and LiNbO3, proved to be ideally suited for SCPEMS for the NIR- and VIS-region. For the infrared GaAs can be used. We demonstrated SCPEM-Q-switching for a Nd:YAG-fiber, a Nd:YVO4-slab- and a Nd:YAG-rod-laser with typical pulse repetition rates of 100-200kHz, pulse enhancement factors of ~100 and pulse durations ~1/100 of the period time. Typically the average power during pulsed operation is nearly the same as the cw-power, when the modulator is switched off. The most stable results were achieved up to now with the Nd:YVO4-slab-laser at 10W average power, 1.1 kW peak power, 127 kHz pulse repetition rate, and 70ns pulse durations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7994, LAT 2010: International Conference on Lasers, Applications, and Technologies, 79941K (16 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880816
Show Author Affiliations
F. Bammer, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
R. Petkovsek, Univ. of Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7994:
LAT 2010: International Conference on Lasers, Applications, and Technologies
Vladislav Panchenko; Gérard Mourou; Aleksei M. Zheltikov, Editor(s)

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