Similar to ytterbium doped laser materials laser operation with thulium doped media is possible within a quasi-three level scheme, which especially for pulse pumped lasers is a drawback for efficient laser operation, as a significant amount of energy is required to bleach out the laser medium. Since this energy cannot be extracted, it is lost for the amplification process. Hence, operation of such lasers at cryogenic temperatures seems to be an appropriate solution. For further modeling and derivation of design rules for future laser systems based on such a scheme reliable spectral data is needed. We will present absorption and emission measurements on Tm:YAG as a function of temperature in the range from 80 K to 300 K covering both the absorption bands around 800 nm and the emission bands up to 2.1 μm. The spectral measurements were carried out on two samples of Tm:YAG with doping levels of 2 at.% and 8 at.%. Precautions for reabsorption effects were taken to allow for accurate results over the whole measurement range. From these measurements we have derived absorption and emission cross sections and radiative lifetimes. By comparing the latter values to values obtained by highly accurate measurements of the lifetime using the pinhole method we could also estimate the quantum efficiency.
Jörg Körner, Jürgen Reiter, Tilman Lühder, Joachim Hein, V. Jambunathan, Antonio Lucianetti, Tomáš Mocek, and Malte C. Kaluza, "Temperature dependent spectroscopic characterization of Tm:YAG crystals as potential laser medium for pulsed high energy laser amplifiers," Proc. SPIE 10238, High-Power, High-Energy, and High-Intensity Laser Technology III, 102380M (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 27, 2017; Published: 11 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2267881.
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