The self-Q-switched laser performance of a diode-laser-pumped monolithic planar–planar 5-mm-long resonator was studied experimentally and theoretically. The dynamic characteristics of the self-Q-switched Cr, Nd:YAG laser were studied by solution of coupled rate equations. The effects of the pump rate, the reflectivity of the output couplers, and the concentrations of saturable absorbers on the laser performance were investigated in detail. The numerical simulation of the Cr, Nd:YAG lasers was in good agreement with the experimental results. We could optimize the laser performance by varying the pump rate, the concentration of the ions in the saturable absorber, and the reflectivity of the output coupler. A typical self-Q-switched laser pulse output of 19 µJ, 3.5 ns wide (FWHM) at a repetition rate of 26 kHz, was obtained, yielding 5.4 kW of peak power.
© 2004 Optical Society of America