Gallium arsenide combines a large nonlinear coefficient, a good thermal conductivity, excellent mechanical properties,
and a wide transparency range (0.9-17μm). Improvement in hybrid vapour phase epitaxy growing techniques of quasiphase-
matched orientation-patterned GaAs (OP-GaAs) allows larger sample thickness and permits efficient operation as
a mid-infrared optical parametric oscillator at Watt-level average output powers.
Especially its low absorption loss (~; 0.01 cm-1), its laser damage threshold comparable to ZGP (~ 2 J/cm2) are suitable
properties for efficient non-critical phase matched OPOs.
As there is no natural birefringence in GaAs, phase matching is independent of polarization and propagation direction,
offering the ability to pump OP-GaAs with a variety of polarization states. Thus, even unpolarized or poorly polarized
sources like simple fiber lasers have been efficiently used as pump sources.
The paper will discuss recent results obtained with an OP-GaAs OPO directly pumped by a 2.09 μm Q-switched
Tm,Ho:silica fiber laser and a study on polarization effects using a Q-switched 2.09 μm Ho:YAG laser as the pump.
With a 2.09 μm Q-switched Tm,Ho:silica fiber laser pump source, up to 2.2 W of average output power was achieved at
40 kHz repetition rate, 1.9 W at 60 kHz and 1.3 W at 75 kHz in the mid-infrared range.