First pulse effect, commonly seen in nanosecond cavity-dumped lasers and picosecond regenerative amplifiers, not only leads to degradation of processing quality, but also acts as potential threat to optical switching elements. Several methods have been developed to suppress that effect, including electronic controls, polarization controls, and diffraction controls.
We present a new way for first pulse self-suppression without any additional components. By carefully arranging the cavity mirror of a regenerative amplifier, we realized ‘parasitic lasing like’ radiation. When the regenerative amplifier works in ‘operation ready’ status, the parasitic lasing occurs and prevents the gain crystal from saturation. When the regenerative amplifier starts working and amplifying pulses, the first pulse in a pulse train will not get much more gain and energy than pulses following it. As parasitic lasing disappears at the same time, the average output power of the amplifier does not significantly reduce.
This cost effective method does not require any additional component. In addition, as it is not polarization dependent, this method is widely suitable for different kinds of regenerative amplifiers. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to suppress first pulse effect, to the best of our knowledge.