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16 March 2016 High brightness sub-nanosecond Q-switched laser using volume Bragg gratings
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The design of Q-switched lasers capable of producing pulse widths of 100’s of picoseconds necessitates the cavity length be shorter than a few centimeters. Increasing the amount of energy extracted per pulse requires increasing the mode area of the resonator that for the same cavity length causes exciting higher order transverse modes and decreasing the brightness of the output radiation. To suppress the higher order modes of these multimode resonators while maintaining the compact cavity requires the use of intra-cavity angular filters. A novel Q-switched laser design is presented using transmitting Bragg gratings (TBGs) as angular filters to suppress the higher order transverse modes. The laser consists of a 5 mm thick slab of Nd:YAG, a 3 mm thick slab of Cr:YAG with a 20% transmission, one TBG aligned to suppress the higher order modes along the x-axis, and a 40% output coupler. The gratings are recorded in photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glass, which has a high damage threshold that can withstand both the high peak powers and high average powers present within the resonator. Using a 4.1 mrad TBG in a 10.8 mm long resonator with an 800μm x 400 μm pump beam, a nearly diffraction limited beam quality of M2 = 1.3 is obtained in a 0.76 mJ pulse with a pulse width of 614 ps.
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Brian M. Anderson, Evan Hale, George Venus, Daniel Ott, Ivan Divliansky, and Leonid Glebov "High brightness sub-nanosecond Q-switched laser using volume Bragg gratings", Proc. SPIE 9726, Solid State Lasers XXV: Technology and Devices, 97261W (16 March 2016);

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