Dynamical behaviors of a CO2 laser system with an OsO4 intracavity saturable absorber have been experimentally investigated, with the gain in the CO2 medium and the detuning between laser operation frequency and absorber transition frequency being used as control parameters. The use of this detuning as a meaningful control parameter has been possible because of the simple spectroscopic structure of the OsO4 saturable absorber. The analysis of the experimental data, performed by means of Poincaré sections and return maps, has revealed chaotic sceneries that were predicted by theory but not yet demonstrated in experiments. Complete phase diagrams of the laser operation have been obtained at two different absorber pressures, and they could be useful in future theoretical analyses.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
P. Alcantara, Jr., L. Guidoni, A. Barsella, A. Fioretti, and E. Arimondo, "Frequency tuning of homoclinic chaos in an infrared laser with an osmium tetroxide intracavity saturable absorber," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 12, 1326-1333 (1995)