Retina-safe operation in open-air is of high interest to the next generation of lasers that are being utilized for many industrial, defense and medical applications. Those wavelengths that are considered to be the best for retina safe operations (also called eye-safe) fall in the range between 1400nm and1800nm. This wavelength region also coincides with the low loss window of fused silica fibers used for optical fiber communications , where the S and C bands near 1500nm are heavily utilized for long range communications due to the lowest attenuation losses possible in the fiber. The trivalent Er ion can produce direct emission into the 1540 nm wavelength, thus, it is the rare-earth emitter of choice for many eye-safe applications. In recent years, the need for high beam quality under passive operation in open air applications have renewed interest in Er-doped bulk glasses as the gain material of choice for solid-state eye-safe lasers.
The need for performance stability under a broad operating range from -400C to 1000C without active cooling is a challenge for amorphous gain materials. Moreover, there is very little known about how temperature may affect performance. In this study, we describe our first attempts to understand material behavior by systematically analyzing temperature driven variations exhibited in absorption and emission from the commercially available gain materials. As part of these investigations, we will also present our method for assessing quantum efficiency through measurements for critical evaluation from laser community at large.
Simi A. George, Joseph S. Hayden, and Mark J. Davis, "Lasing efficiency of Er-Yb-Cr-glass: A temperature study (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10082, Solid State Lasers XXVI: Technology and Devices, 1008208 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2017; Published: 21 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252755.5383482340001.
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