A flash-lamp-pumped Er:Cr:YSGG laser at 2.79-μm wavelength has been acousto-optically <i>Q</i> switched. The <i>Q</i>-switched pulse energy and duration depend on pump pulse level and relative <i>Q</i>-switching time. Limits of single-pulse operation with the given acousto-optic diffraction efficiency have been determined. Resonator length, position of the <i>Q</i> switch, and output mirror reflectivity have been varied to obtain high pulse energy and the shortest pulse duration in the TEM<sub>00</sub> transverse laser mode. A maximum single-pulse energy of 27 mJ and a minimum pulse duration of 120 ns were obtained with an output mirror reflectivity of approximately 25%. The highest <i>Q</i>-switched single-pulse energy amounted to 52% of the free-running, fundamental mode output pulse energy.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(140.3500) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, erbium
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched
(140.4780) Lasers and laser optics : Optical resonators
(160.1050) Materials : Acousto-optical materials
(230.1040) Optical devices : Acousto-optical devices
Pal Maak, Laszlo Jakab, Peter Richter, Hans J. Eichler, and Baining Liu, "Efficient Acousto-Optic Q Switching of Er:YSGG Lasers at 2.79- μm Wavelength," Appl. Opt. 39, 3053-3059 (2000)