We present design and performance data of a diode-pumped Q-switched Alexandrite ring laser in the millijoule regime, which is longitudinally pumped by laser diode bar modules in the red spectral range. As a first step, a linear resonator was designed and characterized in qcw operation as well as in Q-switched operation. Based on these investigations, two separate linear cavities were set up, each with one Alexandrite crystal longitudinally pumped by one diode module. The two cavities are fused together and form a ring cavity which yields up to 6 mJ pulse burst energy in the qcw regime at 770 nm.
We present design and first performance data of a broadly tunable Alexandrite laser longitudinally pumped by a newly developed high brightness single emitter diode laser module with output in the red spectral range. Replacing the flashlamps, which are usually used for pumping Alexandrite, will increase the efficiency and maintenance interval of the laser. The pump module is designed as an optical stack of seven single-emitter laser diodes. We selected an optomechanical concept for the tight overlay of the radiation using a minimal number of optical components for collimation, e.g. a FAC and a SAC lens, and focusing. The module provides optical output power of more than 14 W (peak pulse output in the focus) with a beam quality of M2 = 41 in the fast axis and M2 = 39 in the slow axis. The Alexandrite crystal is pumped from one end at a repetition rate of 35 Hz and 200μs long pump pulses. The temperature of the laser crystal can be tuned to between 30 °C and 190 °C using a thermostat. The diode-pumped Alexandrite laser reaches a maximum optical-optical efficiency of 20 % and a slope efficiency of more than 30 % in fundamental-mode operation (M2 < 1.10). When a Findlay-Clay analysis with four different output couplers is conducted, the round-trip loss of the cavity is determined to be around 1 %. The wavelength is tunable to between 755 and 788 nm via crystal temperature or between 745 and 805 nm via an additional Brewster prism.
In this work, a detailed analysis and redesign of a tunable UV laser is presented. The laser is part of measurement system of “IEK 8, Forschungszentrum Jülich” for airborne LIF analysis of the OH-radical concentration. The design concept of the laser comprises a frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser as pump source, a dye as active medium to emit light at 616 nm, and a NLO crystal as intracavity frequency doubler. The output wavelength is tunable by a combination of dispersion prisms and an etalon. During measurement campaigns, the laser is mounted on top of Zeppelin NT and therefore is exposed to temperatures ranging from 10 to 40 °C and ambient pressures from 800 to 1000 hPa. In former flights the output power of an existing laser decreased rapidly and the wavelength was unstable during the flights and therefore hinders continuous measurements. The analysis of the existing laser combines a theoretical study of tolerance requirements with experimental testing of opto-mechanical components and of the entire laser system in a climatic test chamber. The performance of the laser is measured over the expected temperature range. It is shown that changing the baseplate temperature by a few Kelvin stops laser emission completely. The optical mounts that are used in the laser and worthwhile alternatives were tested separately in the climatic chamber. The stability of the best mounts exceeds those currently used by a factor of 50. A new laser has been built based on the results of the analysis and further experiments for an optical redesign. This laser was on a field campaign for several weeks and worked reliably.