We report on initial lasing of Tm:Lu2O3 ceramic laser with tunable output in the vicinity of 2 μm. Tm:Lu2O3 ceramic gain materials offer a much lower saturation fluence than the traditionally used Tm:YLF and Tm:YAG materials. The gain element is pumped by 796 nm diodes via a "2-for-1" crossrelaxation energy transfer mechanism, which enables high efficiency. The high thermal conductivity of the Lu2O3 host (~18% higher than YAG) in combination with low quantum defect of ~20% supports operation at high-average power. Konoshima’s ceramic fabrication process overcomes the scalability limits of single crystal sesquioxides. Tm:Lu2O3 offers wide-bandwidth amplification of ultrashort pulses in a chirped-pulse amplification (CPA) system. A laser oscillator was continuously tuned over a 230 nm range from 1890 to 2120 nm while delivering up to 43W QCW output with up to 37% efficiency. This device is intended for initial testing and later seeding of a multi-pass edge-pumped disk amplifier now being developed by Aqwest which uses composite Tm:Lu2O3 disk gain elements.
John Vetrovec, David M. Filgas, Carey A. Smith, Drew A. Copeland, Amardeep S. Litt, Eldridge Briscoe, and Ernestina Schirmer, "2-micron lasing in Tm:Lu2O3 ceramic: initial operation," Proc. SPIE 10511, Solid State Lasers XXVII: Technology and Devices, 1051103 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 29, 2018; Published: 19 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291380.
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