19 August 2005 Monolithic passively Q-switched Cr:Nd:GSGG microlaser
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Optical firing sets need miniature, robust, reliable pulsed laser sources for a variety of triggering functions. In many cases, these lasers must withstand high transient radiation environments. In this paper we describe a monolithic passively Q-switched microlaser constructed using Cr:Nd:GSGG as the gain material and Cr4+:YAG as the saturable absorber, both of which are radiation hard crystals. This laser consists of a 1-mm-long piece of undoped YAG, a 7-mm-long piece of Cr:Nd:GSGG, and a 1.5-mm-long piece of Cr4+:YAG diffusion bonded together. The ends of the assembly are polished flat and parallel and dielectric mirrors are coated directly on the ends to form a compact, rugged, monolithic laser. When end pumped with a diode laser emitting at ~807.6 nm, this passively Q-switched laser produces ~1.5-ns-wide pulses. While the unpumped flat-flat cavity is geometrically unstable, thermal lensing and gain guiding produce a stable cavity with a TEM00 gaussian output beam over a wide range of operating parameters. The output energy of the laser is scalable and dependent on the cross sectional area of the pump beam. This laser has produced Q-switched output energies from several μJ per pulse to several 100 μJ per pulse with excellent beam quality. Its short pulse length and good beam quality result in high peak power density required for many applications such as optically triggering sprytrons. In this paper we discuss the design, construction, and characterization of this monolithic laser as well as energy scaling of the laser up to several 100 μJ per pulse.
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Randal L. Schmitt, Randal L. Schmitt, } "Monolithic passively Q-switched Cr:Nd:GSGG microlaser", Proc. SPIE 5871, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing, 587105 (19 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.613372; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.613372

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