15 October 2013 Average power and pulse energy scaling of 1.6 μm resonantly-diode-pumped erbium lasers
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Abstract
Pulsed erbium lasers operating in the eye-safe spectral band around 1.6 μm can find numerous defense and civil applications that often require high pulse energy, reasonable pulse repetition frequency (100 Hz), specific wavelength and last not least very good beam quality. Even though resonant pumping shifts a significant part of thermal load from gain medium to pumping diodes, fulfillment of all these requirements is still rather difficult, what can be attributed to spectroscopic limitations of erbium doped crystalline gain media as well as to low spatial brightness of available InP pumping diodes. In the paper we report recent breakthroughs in the field of pulsed erbium lasers. Main difficulties towards multi-ten-mJ output from systems based on the TIR (total- internal-reflection) pump scheme arrangement will be defined and solutions proposed. We also demonstrate for the first time to the best of our knowledge a Q-switched Er3+:YAG laser operating at the repetition rate of 100 Hz with truly diffraction limited beam quality (M2 =1) and pulse energy of up to 24mJ (damage free).
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Lukasz Galecki, Marc Eichhorn, Waldemar Zendzian, "Average power and pulse energy scaling of 1.6 μm resonantly-diode-pumped erbium lasers", Proc. SPIE 8898, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures X; and High-Power Lasers 2013: Technology and Systems, 88980A (15 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2028626; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2028626
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