9 November 2016 Low threshold and high efficiency solar-pumped laser with Fresnel lens and a grooved Nd:YAG rod
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Abstract
Sunlight is considered as a new efficient source for direct optical-pumped solid state lasers. High-efficiency solar pumped lasers with low threshold power would be more promising than semiconductor lasers with large solar panel in space laser communication. Here we report a significant advance in solar-pumped laser threshold by pumping Nd:YAG rod with a grooved sidewall. Two-solar pumped laser setups are devised. In both cases, a Fresnel lens is used as the primary sunlight concentrator. Gold-plated conical cavity with a liquid light-guide lens is used as the secondary concentrator to further increase the solar energy concentration. In the first setup, solar pumping a 6mm diameter Nd:YAG rod, maximum laser power of 31.0W/m2 cw at 1064nm is produced, which is higher than the reported record, and the slope efficiency is 4.98% with the threshold power on the surface of Fresnel lens is 200 W. In the second setup, a 5 mm diameter laser rod output power is 29.8W/m2 with a slope efficiency of 4.3%. The threshold power of 102W is obtained, which is 49% lower than the former. Meanwhile, the theoretical calculating of the threshold power and slope efficiency of the solar-pumped laser has been established based on the rate-equation of a four-level system. The results of the finite element analysis by simulation software are verified in experiment. The optimization of the conical cavity by TracePro© software and the optimization of the laser resonator by LASCAD© are useful for the design of a miniaturization solar- pumped laser.
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Zhe Guan, Changming Zhao, Suhui Yang, Yu Wang, Jieyao Ke, Fengbin Gao, Haiyang Zhang, "Low threshold and high efficiency solar-pumped laser with Fresnel lens and a grooved Nd:YAG rod", Proc. SPIE 10016, High-Power Lasers and Applications VIII, 1001609 (9 November 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2245281; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2245281
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