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14 February 2008 Solid state saturable absorbers for Q-switching at 1 and 1.3μm: investigation and modeling
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Yttrium and Lutecium garnets (YAG and LuAG) doped by Chromium or Vanadium ions (Cr4+ or V3+) were investigated as saturable absorbers potentially useful for passive Q-switching at wavelengths 1 μm and/or 1.3 μm. For comparison also color center saturable absorber LiF:F-2 and Cobalt doped spinel (Co:MALO) were studied. Firstly, low power absorption spectra were recorded for all samples. Next, absorbers transmission in dependence on incident energy/power density was measured using the z-scan method. Crystals Cr:YAG, Cr:LuAG, V:YAG, and LiF:F-2 were tested at wavelength 1064 nm. Therefore Alexandrite laser pumped Q-switched Nd:YAG laser was used as a radiation source (pulse length 6.9 ns, energy up to 1.5 mJ). Crystals V:YAG, V:LuAG, and Co:MALO were tested at wavelength 1338 nm. So diode pumped Nd:YAG/V:YAG microchip laser was used as a radiation source (pulse length 6.2 ns, energy up to 0.1 mJ). Using measured data fitting, and by their comparison with numerical model of a "thick" saturable absorber transmission for Q-switched Gaussian laser beam, following parameters were estimated: saturable absorber initial transmission T0, saturation energy density ws, ground state absorption cross-section σGSA, saturated absorber transmission Ts, excited state absorption cross-section σESA, ratio γ = σGSAESA, and absorbing ions density. For V:YAG crystal, a polarization dependence of Ts was also investigated. With the help of rate equation numerical solution, an impact of saturable absorber parameters on generated Q-switched pulse properties was studied in plane wave approximation. Selected saturable absorbers were also investigated as a Q-switch and results were compared with the model.
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Jan Šulc D.D.S., Pavel Arátor, Helena Jelínková, Karel Nejezchleb, Václav Škoda, and Milan R. Kokta "Solid state saturable absorbers for Q-switching at 1 and 1.3μm: investigation and modeling", Proc. SPIE 6871, Solid State Lasers XVII: Technology and Devices, 68712D (14 February 2008);


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