Nd:YAlO3 Laser Device Development.
Final rept. 12 Apr 71-12 Jun 72,
GTE GOVERNMENT SYSTEMS CORP MOUNTAIN VIEW CA SYLVANIA SYSTEMS GROUP-WESTERN D IV
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This report documents the results of a one-year program in the area of optically pumped neodymium lasers using YALO3 as the host crystal. The purpose of this work was to obtain data required for the optimized design of Nd YALO3 and Nd, Cr YALO3 lasers for various applications and to extend the state of the art of optically pumped Nd lasers. The topics studied during this program included material cross sections and excited-state lifetimes, effects of polarization and rod orientation, thermal focusing and distortion effects, device efficiencies with various types of pumping lamps and pump cavity reflectors, and susceptibility of YALO3 laser rods to optically-induced surface damage. In addition, various device parameters such as optimum output coupling, behavior in Q-switched and in continuous lowest loss transverse mode operation, and the effect of rod doping on laser efficiency were investigated. Internal and external frequency doubling of the Nd YALO3 laser was also studied. Finally, a comparison was made of the relative advantages of YALO3 and YAG lasers for various applications and modes of operation. In general the principal advantages of YALO3 over YAG are realized in linear-polarized applications at average powers greater than 10 watts output and in high-efficiency, long-pulse flash-pumped devices. YALO3 lasers appear to be slightly superior to YAG for lowest loss transverse mode and Q-switched high-energy-storage applications. Low-power cw lasers using YALO3 have somewhat higher thresholds than YAG lasers similarly pumped however for nonlinear optical applications YALO3 lasers offer better performance because of their inherent linear polarization.
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