The first demonstration of laser action in a Yb<sup>3+</sup>:Sr<sub>3</sub>Y(BO<sub>3</sub>)<sub>3</sub> crystal is reported. This new material exhibits particularly broad absorption and emission bandwidths (6 and 60 nm, respectively) and hence is of particular interest for diode-pumped femtosecond and tunable laser sources. Efficient operation from diode pumping (1.4 W of cw laser power obtained with 3.6 W of diode pump power and as much as 3.4 W of peak power from high-power quasi-cw pumping) together with smooth tunability (over 50 nm FWHM) is reported. For the comparison, efficiency and thermal limitations of Yb:glass and Yb:Ca<sub>4</sub>GdO(BO<sub>3</sub>)<sub>3</sub> have been investigated under the same conditions.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(140.3380) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.5680) Lasers and laser optics : Rare earth and transition metal solid-state lasers
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
S. Chénais, F. Druon, F. Balembois, P. Georges, R. Gaumé, P. H. Haumesser, B. Viana, G. P. Aka, and D. Vivien, "Spectroscopy and efficient laser action from diode pumping of a new broadly tunable crystal: Yb3+:Sr3 Y(BO3)3," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 1083-1091 (2002)