We report on the first laser operation of a novel double molybdate compound, Yb:KY(MoO4)2. Single-crystals were grown by the Low Temperature Gradient (LTG) Czochralski method. The crystal structure (orthorhombic, sp. gr. Pbna – D142h) was refined with the Rietveld method. Yb:KY(MoO4)2 exhibits a layered structure leading to a strong optical anisotropy and a perfect cleavage along the (100) plane. The stimulated-emission cross-section for Yb3+ ions is 3.70×10-20 cm2 at 1008.0 nm and the emission bandwidth is 37 nm (for light polarization E ||b). Continuous-wave laser operation is achieved in a 3 at.% Yb:KY(MoO4)2 crystal plate (thickness: 286 μm) under diode pumping. The microchip laser generated a maximum output power of 0.81 W at 1021-1044 nm with a slope efficiency of 76.4% and linear polarization. Yb:KY(MoO4)2 crystal films / plates are attractive for sub-ns passively Q-switched microchip lasers and thin-disk lasers.
Yttrium orthoaluminate (YAlO3) is an attractive laser host crystal for doping with thulium (Tm3+) ions. We report on the absorption and stimulated-emission (SE) cross-sections of this orthorhombic (sp. gr. Pnma) Tm:YAlO3 crystal for the principal light polarizations, E || a, b and c. Polarized absorption data lead to the Judd-Ofelt parameters Ω2 = 1.46, Ω4 = 2.82 and Ω6 = 1.09 [10-20 cm2]. In particular, for the 3H4 → 3H5 transition, it is found a stimulated emission cross section of 0.86×10-20 cm2 at 2278 nm corresponding to an emission bandwidth of ~12 nm (for E || b). Continuous-wave laser operation on this 3H4 → 3H5 transition is achieved with an 1.8 at.% Tm:YAlO3 crystal under laser-pumping at 776 nm. The mid-infrared Tm:YAlO3 laser generated 0.96 W at ~2274 nm with a slope efficiency of 61.8% and a linear laser polarization (E || b). Tm:YAlO3 is promising for mode-locked lasers at ~2.3 μm.
We report on a novel approach to fabricate channel (ridge) waveguides (WGs) in bulk crystals using precision diamond saw dicing. The channels feature a high depth-to-width aspect ratio (deep dicing). The proof-of-the-concept is shown for a Tm:LiYF4 fluoride crystal. Channels with a depth of 200 μm and widths of 10–50 μm are diced and characterized with a confocal laser microscopy revealing a r.m.s. roughness of the walls of about 1 μm. The passive waveguiding properties of the channels are proven at ~815 nm showing almost no leakage of the guided mode into the bulk crystal volume. The laser operation is achieved in quasi-CW regime. The maximum peak output power reaches 0.68 W at ~1.91 μm with a slope efficiency of 53.3% (in σ-polarization). The laser mode has a vertical stripe intensity profile. The proposed concept is applicable to a variety of laser crystals with different rare-earth dopants and it is promising for sensing applications.