4 March 2016 DPAL pump system exceeding 3kW at 766nm and 30 GHz bandwidth
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Abstract
Due to their low quantum defect, diode pumped alkali metal vapor lasers (DPALs) offer the promise of scalability to very high average power levels while maintaining excellent beam quality. Research on DPALs has progressed to ever increasing power levels across multiple gain media species over the last years, necessitating pump power in the kW range. Each material requires a specific pump wavelength: near 852nm for cesium, 780nm for rubidium, 766nm for potassium, and 670nm for lithium atoms. The shorter pump wavelength below 800nm are outside the typical wavelength range for pump diodes developed for diode pumped solid state lasers (DPSS).

The biggest challenge in pumping these materials efficiently is the need for maintaining the narrow gain media absorption band of approximately 0.01nm while greatly increasing power. Typical high power diode lasers achieve spectral widths around 3nm (FWHM) in the near infrared spectrum, but optical gratings may be used internal or external to the cavity to reduce the spectral width. Recently, experimental results have shown yet narrower line widths ranging from picometers at very low power levels to sub-100 picometers for water cooled stacks around 1kW of output power.

The focus of this work is the development of a fiber-based pump system for potassium DPAL. The individual tasks are the development of high power 766nm chip material, a fiber-coupled module as a building block, and a scalable system design to address power requirements from hundreds of watts to tens of kilowatts. Results for a 3kW system achieving ~30GHz bandwidth at 766nm will be shown. Approaches for power-scaling and size reduction will be discussed.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Tobias Koenning, Tobias Koenning, Dan McCormick, Dan McCormick, David Irwin, David Irwin, Dean Stapleton, Dean Stapleton, Tina Guiney, Tina Guiney, Steve Patterson, Steve Patterson, "DPAL pump system exceeding 3kW at 766nm and 30 GHz bandwidth", Proc. SPIE 9733, High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications XIV, 97330E (4 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2213673; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213673
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