It has been shown experimentally and theoretically that <i>Q</i>-switching behavior is possible in a flash-lamp-pumped Cr-doped LiSrAlF<sub>6</sub> (Cr<sup>3+</sup>:LiSAF) laser that consists only of two mirrors, a laser crystal, and a diaphragm. We demonstrate that insertion into a laser of a binary diffractive optical element can speed up the dynamics of the self-<i>Q</i>-switched laser such that the output pulse is shortened (from 60 to 33 ns) and its energy is increased (from 36 to 54 mJ). The self-<i>Q</i>-switching behavior of the laser has the ability to produce a laser pulse with a duration that one can adjust continuously from 60 to 700 ns just by opening the diaphragm.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
Nicolas Passilly, Michael Fromager, and Kamel Aït-Ameur, "Improvement of the Self-Q-Switching Behavior of a Cr:LiSrAlF6 Laser by Use of Binary Diffractive Optics," Appl. Opt. 43, 5047-5059 (2004)