The recent advances in the development of Holmium monoclinic double tungstate thin-disk lasers are reviewed. The thin-disk is based on a 250-μm-thick 3 at. % Ho:KY(WO4)2 active layer grown on a (010)-oriented KY(WO4)2 substrate. When pumped by a Tm-fiber laser at 1960 nm with a single-bounce pump geometry, the continuous-wave Ho:KY(WO4)2 thin-disk laser generates an output power of 1.01 W at 2057 nm corresponding to a slope efficiency η of 60% and a laser threshold of only 0.15 W. The thin-disk laser is passively Q-switched with a GaSb-based quantum-well semiconductor saturable absorber mirror. In this regime, it generates an average output power of 0.551 W at ~2056 nm with η = 44%. The best pulse characteristics are 4.1 μJ / 201 ns at a repetition rate of 135 kHz. The laser performance, beam quality and thermo-optic aberrations of such lasers are strongly affected by the Ho3+ doping concentration. For the 3 at.% Ho3+-doped thin-disk, the thermal lens is negative (the sensitivity factors for the two principal meridional planes are -1.7 and -0.6 m-1/W) and astigmatic. The Ho:KY(WO4)2 epitaxial structures are promising as active elements in mode-locked thin-disk lasers at ~2060 nm.
Absorption, stimulated-emission and gain cross-sections are determined for 3 at.% Tm:CaGdAlO4. This crystal is employed in a microchip laser diode-pumped at 802 nm. In the continuous-wave (CW) regime, this laser generates 1.16 W at 1883-1893 nm with a slope efficiency of 32% with respect to the absorbed pump power. Using a special "bandpass" output coupler, vibronic CW laser operation up to 2043 nm is achieved. For passive Q-switching of the Tm:CaGdAlO4 laser-saturable absorbers (SAs) based on CVD-grown graphene and randomly-oriented arc-discharge single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in a PMMA film. The SWCNT-SA demonstrates superior performance. The laser produced a maximum average output power of 245 mW at 1844 nm with a slope efficiency of 8%. The latter corresponds to a pulse energy and duration of 6 μJ and 138 ns, respectively, at a repetition rate of 41 kHz. Using the graphene-SA, 2.8 μJ, 490 ns pulses are obtained at a repetition rate of 86 kHz.