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9 June 2011 A new material for single crystal modulators: BBO
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Single crystal photo-elastic modulators (SCPEM) are based on a single piezo-electric crystal which is electrically excited on a resonance frequency such that the resulting resonant oscillation causes a modulated artificial birefringence due to the photo-elastic effect. Polarized light experience in such a crystal a strong modulation of polarization, which, in connection with a polarizer, can be used for Q-switching of lasers with pulse repetition frequencies in the range of 100- 1000 kHz. A particularly advantageous configuration is possible with crystals from the symmetry class 3m. Besides LiTaO3 and LiNbO3, both already well explored as SCPEM-materials, we introduce now BBO, which offers a very low absorption in the near infrared region and is therefore particularly suited for Q-switching of solid state lasers. We demonstrate first results of such a BBO-modulator with the dimensions 8.6 x 4.05 x 4.5mm in x-, y-, z- direction, which offers a useful resonance and polarization modulation at 131.9 kHz. Since the piezo-electric effect is small, the voltage amplitude for achieving Q-switching for an Nd:YAG-laser is expected to be in the range of 100V. Nevertheless it is a simple and robust device to achieve Q-switching with a high fixed repetition rate for high power solid state lasers.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
F. Bammer, T. Schumi, and R. Petkovsek "A new material for single crystal modulators: BBO", Proc. SPIE 8080, Diode-Pumped High Energy and High Power Lasers; ELI: Ultrarelativistic Laser-Matter Interactions and Petawatt Photonics; and HiPER: the European Pathway to Laser Energy, 80800H (9 June 2011);


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