We report on passively <i>Q</i>-switched operation of a diode-pumped Er–Yb:glass laser with a Co<sup>2+</sup>:MgAl<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> plate as a saturable absorber. Optical pulses with peak power exceeding 2 kW and a pulse length of 2.3 ns have been generated. Single-longitudinal-mode <i>Q</i>-switched operation at 1.53 μm has been obtained by use of the Co<sup>2+</sup>:MgAl<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> plate as an intracavity etalon. A discussion of the optimal Er<sup>3+</sup> concentration as well as optimization of the cavity design is included.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(140.3500) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, erbium
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched
(160.5690) Materials : Rare-earth-doped materials
(160.6990) Materials : Transition-metal-doped materials
Gunnar Karlsson, Valdas Pasiskevicius, Fredrik Laurell, Jens A. Tellefsen, Boris Denker, Boris I. Galagan, Vyacheslav V. Osiko, and Sergei Sverchkov, "Diode-Pumped Er–Yb:Glass Laser Passively Q Switched by Use of Co2+:MgAl2O4 as a Saturable Absorber," Appl. Opt. 39, 6188-6192 (2000)