Exploding PbS film Q-switches in a Nd3+ glass laser produce ≈40-nsec. giant pulses. This investigation characterizes the laser giant pulse energy, over-all efficiency and ratio of giant pulse energy to total output energy as functions of flashlamp input energy, PbS film reflectivity, output mirror reflectivity, and flashlamp pulse width for both an apertured and unapertured laser. The laser emits giant pulses which contain 0.88 J and 1.8 J of energy, at an over-all efficiency of 0.086% and 0.21% for an apertured and unapertured laser, respectively, and ratios of giant pulse energy to total output energy approaching 100%. This investigation has illustrated that a laser Q-switched by a PbS exploding film can emit more energy, more efficiently, than the same laser Q-switched by a conventional Pockels cell. It is suspected that PbS is not the most efficient material; however, other material could be tested in a similar manner to determine a more optimum material.
© 1978 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 27, 1977
Published: February 15, 1978
M. J. Landry, "Exploding PbS film Q-switch laser," Appl. Opt. 17, 635-641 (1978)