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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 27 — Dec. 19, 2011
  • pp: 26382–26393
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High-power solid-state cw dye laser

R. Bornemann, E. Thiel, and P. Haring Bolívar  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 27, pp. 26382-26393 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.026382


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Abstract

In the present paper we describe a high-power tunable solid-state dye laser setup that offers peak output power up to 800 mW around 575 nm with excellent long-time power stability and low noise level. The spectral width of the laser emission is less than 3 GHz and can be tuned over more than 30 nm. A nearly circular mode profile is achieved with an M2 better than 1.4. The device can be integrated in a compact housing (dimensions are 60 × 40 × 20 cm3). The limitation of long-time power stability is mainly given by photo decomposition of organic dye molecules. These processes are analyzed in detail via spatially resolved micro-imaging and spectroscopic studies.

© 2011 OSA

1. Introduction

The classical dye laser serves as an ideal light source for many applications. It is a powerful monochromatic but tunable light source with good beam parameters. The operation was shown in 1970 with liquid dye laser solutions in continuous-wave (cw) mode [1

1. O. G. Peterson, S. A. Tuccio, and B. B. Snavely, “Cw operation of an organic dye solution laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 17(6), 245–247 (1970). [CrossRef]

] as well as an ultra-short pulsed laser in the fs time regime [2

2. J.-C. Diels, “Femtosecond dye lasers,” in Dye Laser Principles, Duarte & Hillman, eds. (Academic Press, 1990), pp. 41–132.

]. Today, dye lasers are widely used mainly in spectroscopic applications as well as a device for fundamental research [3

3. J. F. Duarte, Tunable Laser Applications, 2nd ed. (CRC Press, 2009).

]. But commercial liquid dye lasers have one inherent disadvantage for the majority of applications: the risk of contamination by the strongly colored solution prevents implementation in a lot of areas of applications, especially in medicine and biology, as well as under clean-room conditions. In order to overcome this disadvantage, first experiments of solid-state dye lasers were done in the early 1970s [4

4. T. Hänsch, M. Pernier, and A. Schawlow, “Laser action of dyes in gelatin,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 7(1), 45–46 (1971). [CrossRef]

]. However, it is mainly insufficient power stability that prevents the practical use of these devices. In subsequent years, it was accepted in general that because of thermo-optical and photochemical problems, solid-state cw dye laser action cannot be achieved at all. It is remarkable that more than three decades later the first solid organic tunable dye laser that is able to work in cw mode is presented [5

5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In order to achieve cw laser action, a dye-impregnated disc is slowly rotated. Other developments target high output power and photo stability (pulsed mode) [6

6. G. Kytina, V. G. Kytin, and K. Lips, “High-power polymer dye laser with improved stability,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 84(24), 4902–4904 (2004). [CrossRef]

], a quasi-cw mode of operation with high-repetition-rate pump laser excitation [7

7. T. Rabe, K. Gerlach, T. Riedl, H.-H. Johannes, W. Kowalsky, J. Niederhofer, W. Gries, J. Wang, T. Weimann, P. Hinze, F. Galbrecht, and U. Scherf, “Quasi-continuous-wave operation of an organic thin-film distributed feedback laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(8), 081115 (2006). [CrossRef]

], or ASE experiments under cw excitation [8

8. K. Yamashita, K. Hase, H. Yanagi, and K. Oe, “Optical amplification in organic dye-doped polymeric channel waveguide under cw optical pumping,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 46(28), L688–L690 (2007). [CrossRef]

,9

9. H. Nakanotani, C. Adachi, S. Watanabe, and R. Katoh, “Spectrally narrow emission from organic films under continuous-wave excitation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 90(23), 231109 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. In 2010 cw laser emission was achieved with a metal–organic polymer composite, even without moving the laser medium [10

10. J. Yang, M. Diemeer, C. Grivas, G. Sengo, A. Driessen, and M. Pollnau, “Steady-state lasing in a solid polymer,” Laser Phys. Lett. 7(9), 650–656 (2010). [CrossRef]

].

In this paper a more sophisticated solid-state cw dye laser is introduced. This device shows both excellent long- and short-time power stability. This stability is reached even at an output power up to 800 mW at 575 nm. Moreover, by a specially designed laser cavity, a nearly circular mode profile is achieved with a beam propagation factor M2 better than 1.4.

The excellent power stability of the presented dye laser provides cw laser output over hours without remarkable power loss. Detailed investigation of the photochemical decomposition of the solved organic dye molecules shows that the power decrease is ultimately caused by photo bleaching and reabsorption of photo products. The polymer host does not influence long-time power stability.

2. Experimental setup

The experimental setup of the new laser device is similar to the first cw solid-state dye laser and is shown in Fig. 1
Fig. 1 Scheme of the laser resonator with laser disk (LD), motor (M), fold mirror (FM), high-reflection mirror (HR), output-coupling mirror (OC), optional birefringence filter (BRF), pump laser (PL), pump laser focusing mirror (PM), laser beam (LB), and the folding angle ().
.

The laser resonator consists of a 3-mirror folded cavity with a high-reflector mirror (HR), a fold mirror (FM), and an output-coupling mirror (OC). The HR and FM have a radius of curvature of 100 mm and 75 mm, respectively, and high reflectivity of more than 99.9% in the range of 450–750 nm for the FM and 550–680 nm for the HR. The OC is a flat mirror with a transmission of 2–4% and is placed at a distance of 40 cm after the FM. The active gain medium is a dye-impregnated polymer disc and is placed between the HR and FM. The motor M rotates the gain medium with a frequency of 50–100 Hz. The motor is mounted on a linear translation stage. With this stage the disc is moved during the laser operation in a closed loop in the X direction. The velocity for this lateral moving is 0.5–5 mm/minute.

In addition to these motorized movements, the motor block can be shifted (e.g., for focusing) in the Y direction via a hand-driven translation stage.

A small air-cooled 4.5 W cw-DPSS laser (Rapidus, Compact Laser Solutions GmbH, Germany) with a wavelength of 532 nm is used as the excitation source. The vertically polarized pump beam is focused via a small concave pump mirror (PM) in the vicinity of the FM in the polymer disc. The PM has a radius of curvature of 100 mm like the FM, a diameter of 6.3 mm, and has the same reflection properties as the FM. In order to get a good match between the pump and the dye laser focus volume in the polymer discs, the angle between the pump and the dye laser axis is minimized below 10°.

The surface of the laser disc is tilted by nearly 57° against the laser beam axis to fulfill the Brewster angle condition. The resulting astigmatism can be compensated with the FM in this laser resonator design. The compensation angle Θ depends on the thickness of the laser disc and its effective refraction index. The half angle Θ is calculated according to [11

11. H. Kogelnik, E. Ippen, A. Dienes, and C. Shank, “Astigmatically compensated cavities for cw dye lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 8(3), 373–379 (1972). [CrossRef]

]
sin(θ)*tan(θ)=N*df
(1)
with
N=(n21)n2+1n4,
where d is the thickness of the polymer disc, f is the focal length of the FM, and n is the refractive index of the polymer medium.

In our case, the angle Θ is approximately 6.6°. In contrast to [5

5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], for this experiment we used a polymer disc with a homogeneous dye distribution over the full bulk thickness of the disc. The thickness is significantly larger (3 mm). The outer diameter of the disc is 80 mm. We used perylene orange (Kremer Pigmente, Germany) as the laser dye and PMMA as polymer host material. Regarding perylene orange (PO), it is known that it is a laser dye with remarkably high photo stability in PMMA and other solid matrices [12

12. R. Reisfeld, “Fluorescent dyes in sol-gel glasses,” J. Fluoresc. 12(3/4), 317–325 (2002). [CrossRef]

16

16. M. D. Rahn, T. A. King, A. A. Gorman, and I. Hamblett, “Photostability enhancement of pyrromethene 567 and perylene orange in oxygen-free liquid and solid dye lasers,” Appl. Opt. 36(24), 5862–5871 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], and PMMA is easily able to be machined to obtain good surface and volume homogeneity. In the longer arm of the cavity, an optional birefringence-filter (BRF, from a Coherent 599 standing-wave dye laser) can be implemented to tune the laser wavelength.

The complete setup is built on a breadboard with dimensions of 60 × 30 cm. When the alignment of the whole optical part is well done, the OC can be relocated to a new distance of more than 5 meters without a significant decrease in power stability or lower beam quality.

3. Experimental results

Because of the modification in the polymer disc design, we expect a lower thermal load, higher mechanical stability, and better photo stability of the polymer discs in comparison to [5

5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Moreover, a slightly higher threshold for the laser operation is expected.

In Fig. 2(a)
Fig. 2 (a) Absorption and fluorescence spectrum of the laser disk material; (b) tuning range with achievable output power of the polymer laser; (c) typical emission spectrum of the laser emission; (d) laser emission spectrum measured with a scanning Fabry–Perot interferometer.
the absorption spectrum and the fluorescence spectrum of the laser discs are shown. Figure 2(b) shows the tunability spectral range of the polymer laser device. The absorption spectrum is measured with a conventional spectrophotometer (U-3200, Hitachi). For measurements of fluorescence emission and the laser spectra, the emission characteristics are analyzed by a spectrograph with a spectroscopic CCD Camera (Triax 320 with a Symphony CCD Camera, Fa. Horiba Jobin Yvon, Germany). Each of the dots in Fig. 2(b) represents the maximum of a recorded emission spectrum of the laser. One exemplary spectrum of the laser emission is shown in Fig. 2(c). The laser light is coupled in the spectrometer via a 10 m glass fiber and a self-built small integration sphere. The integration time for each spectrum is 50 ms and the averaged spectral width is lower than 0.05 nm or 43 GHz for each spectrum. The spectral resolution is checked by using a 2400 l/mm grating with a Neon spectral lamp and appointed to 0.05 nm. No spectral shifts or jitter effects can be observed during the integration time, and no significant fluorescence background or a background from amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the neighborhood of the laser emission can be observed. Because of the spectral limitation of the monochromator, a Fabry–Perot interferometer (SA210, Thorlabs Inc.) is used to analyze the spectral bandwidth of the laser in detail. A typical spectrum is depicted in Fig. 2(d). The full width at half-maximum (FWHM) of the laser emission is in the range of 2 GHz.

In Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Input-output characteristic of the polymer laser with different transmission of the output coupling mirror (OC).
the input-output characteristics of the enhanced cw polymer laser with a PO laser disc is shown. In comparison to [5

5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], the laser threshold is increased from 500 mW to 1.2 W. However, the slope efficiency is significantly increased. Above the threshold the efficiency increases from 2% with Rhodamine 6G to nearly 26% for PO. Saturation effects are not detectable up to the maximum pump power of 4.5 W. The maximum reached output power is more than 800 mW at 576 nm with a PO disc without an implemented BRF and with a 5% transmission of the OC. The threshold can be reduced to approximately 0.65 W when using an OC with less than 0.1% transmission. But this decreases the slope efficiency by a factor of 30.

Figure 4(a)
Fig. 4 (a) Long-time power stability; blue line with a constant pump power of 4.5 W; red line with regulated output power of the polymer laser. (b) Short-time power stability of the polymer laser; black is the laser signal; red a trigger signal, which indicates the angular position of the polymer disc.
shows the time evolution of the output power without an implemented BRF. The blue curve in Fig. 4(a) shows that after 1 hour the output power decreases by approximately 40% from 800 mW to 500 mW with a constant pump power of 4.5 W (maximal power of the pump laser). The overlapped periodical fluctuation in the power signal is caused by the perpendicular movement of the laser disc medium in the X direction. The laser cavity is optimized for the disc at maximal X elongation. Therefore, the laser power has local maxima at these positions [see Fig. 4(a) local maxima at the blue line]. The linear translation toward the minimal X elongation leads to a smooth decrease of laser output because of small cavity misalignments. Close to the inner reversal point, the local minima are nearly reached. At the inner reversal point, the movement stops for a short time. At this position the disc is strongly stressed, and the laser power drops significantly [see Fig. 4(a) notched local minima of the blue line]. For a similar reason, notched local minima occur close to the local maxima at the outer reversal point. The velocity of this movement is 1.25 mm/min. No active power stabilization elements or passive feedback controls are implemented in this case. The red curve shows the result with the use of a simple PD power stabilization. The pump power is decreased to a setpoint of output power of 300 mW. Deviations from this value are compensated with regulations of the pump power of the pump laser device. For a period of 1 hour, significant deviations causing the photo degradation of the polymer disc can be compensated. The regulation frequency is 2 Hz and is limited by the relatively large time constant of the pump laser device. For this measurement the translation speed in the X direction is increased to 2.5 mm/min. After 45 min. the photo bleaching of the dye at the inner diameter of the laser disc cannot be fully compensated because the feedback loop is overloaded and the periodical fluctuation becomes noticeable.

The resulting short-time power fluctuation of the laser intensity is shown in Fig. 4(b). The signal shows the intensity dependence to the angular position on the polymer disc. Only the rotation speed of the polymer disc is regulated and stabilized with a control circuit. This motor signal (red) is used as a trigger to detect the short-time intensity fluctuations. One complete rotation period of the polymer disc is shown. With a well-adjusted laser resonator, it is possible to decrease the short-time intensity fluctuations down to 10% (peak-to-peak) of the average power, regardless of the strong intensity spikes. These spikes come from micro air bubbles, dust particles, and/or micro scratches in and on the disc material and surfaces, respectively. The scratches can be reduced by carefully polishing the surfaces. The surface quality must be better than λ/4 over the whole surface diameter. Micro bubbles or dust particles inside the polymer material are still an unsolved problem. Another point is the plane parallelism of the polymer discs. A deviation of the thickness of more than 50 µm over the full diameter (80 mm) causes a higher noise level or stronger intensity fluctuations. The wedge angle of the polymer disc is checked via a home-built shearing interferometer [17

17. D. Malacara, Optical Shop Testing, 3rd ed. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007).

]. The wedge angle is estimated at below 0.5 mrad.

Figure 5(a)
Fig. 5 (a) Intensity beam profile of the laser beam in 50 cm distance of the output-coupler (OC); (b) square of the beam radius in the near of a focus.
shows the intensity beam profile of the laser beam at a distance of 50 cm after the OC. The diameter of the resulting beam is 1.5 mm at a distance of 50 cm and 2.5 mm at a distance of 150 cm, respectively. The beam profile is measured with an industrial CMOS camera (BLIZZARD-60-U2, Photon Focus AG) with 748 × 400 pixels and 10.6 × 10.6 µm pixel size. To adjust the intensity of the beam profile images, gray glass filters (F.A. Schott) are used. The intensity plot is an average of 255 images. The shape is very similar to a single Gaussian mode beam and has an ellipticity ratio close to 0.926. The beam divergence angle is 1 mrad.

From the single images of this time series, the pointing stability can be derived to <35 μrad over the image sequence time of 5 seconds. To estimate the beam parameter product M2 [18

18. ISO 11146, Laser and laser related equipment-Test methods for laser beam widths, divergence angles and beam propagation ratios: ISO 11146–1:2005, Part 1: Stigmatic and simple astigmatic beams; ISO11146–2:2005, Part 2: General astigmatic beams; ISO/TR 11146–3:2004, Part 3: Intrinsic and geometrical laser beam classification, propagation, and details of test method; ISO/TR 11146–3:2004/Cor1:2005 (International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2005).

], the laser beam is focused to the camera chip with a 120 mm achromatic lens. The camera is independently mounted from this lens on a scanning stage and the focus range of the laser beam is scanned. At different displacement positions, the beam diameter is calculated. Figure 5(b) shows the dependency of the square of this beam diameter (d = 2*ω) versus the camera displacement. The black curve with the red crosses shows the measurement values. The resulted curve can be described with [19

19. J. Eichler, L. Dünkel, and B. Eppich, “Die Strahlqualitaet von Lasern–Wie bestimmt man Beugungsmasszahl und Strahldurchmesser in der Praxis?” Laser Technik J., 63–66 (2004).

]
d2=A+B*z+C2*z2,
(2)
where d2 is the square of the beam diameter, z is the displacement of the camera, and A, B, and C are experimental fit parameters. For this measurement A is 1.09*10−8, B is 3.68*10−7, and C is 9.56*10−5. The result is the red curve in Fig. 5(b). The divergence angle Θf for this focus is given by
θf=C
(3)
and the waist diameter d0 of this focus is

d0=AB24C.
(4)

With these values, the beam parameter product M2 is given by
M2=d0*θf*π4*λ,
(5)
with the laser wavelength λ = 575 nm. With the resulting values A, B, and C, the divergence angle Θf = 9.78 mrad, and the beam waist radius at this focus d0 = 103 µm, the beam parameter product M2 amounts to 1.38.

4. Theory and discussion

A mathematical expression for the laser threshold pump power flux B in photons / (s*cm2) for a longitudinal pumped laser is given in Eq. (6) [20

20. E. Thiel, Entwicklung eines inkohärent gepumpten kontinuierlichen Farbstofflasers (Universität Siegen, 1987).

]:
B=ε(λL)*c*daktlog(1Lges)εSE*NA2*τ*A(c,dakt),
(6)
with ε(λL) = extinction coefficient for the active medium at the laser wavelength λL in l/(mol*cm), c = laser dye concentration in mol/l, dakt = thickness of the active laser medium in cm, Lges = concentration independent loss per round trip in the resonator, εSEL) = coefficient of the stimulated emission at λL in (l/mol*cm), NA = Avogadro constant, τ = lifetime of the upper laser level, and A(c, dakt) = absorption of the pump light in the laser medium. For a given concentration and thin polymer discs, the factor 1/A(c, dakt) becomes dominant. It decreases the threshold pump intensity flux with an increasing dye concentration. But at higher concentrations the factor ε(λL)*c*dakt (reabsorption term) becomes more and more dominant. The absorption cannot overcome the unity. This factor increases the threshold pump flux B by an increasing of dakt . For a given resonator design together with a well-chosen dye, there can be found a minimum in the necessary pump flux rate. For common dye lasers, typical values are 80%–90% of absorption at the pump laser wavelength [21

21. U. Brackmann, “Lambdachrome Laser Dyes,” (Lambda Physik, Göttingen, 2000).

].

Figure 6(a)
Fig. 6 (a) Differential optical density spectrum after 4 hours laser; (b) fluorescence intensity image of a sawed polymer disc; left, unmodified part of the disc; right, bleached part of the disc; pump laser irritation comes from bottom.
shows the absorption spectrum of the laser disc before and after 4 hours of laser operation. The start absorbance was 2.7 in 3 mm, which is equivalent to a dye concentration of approximately 1⋅10−4 M. Because of photo bleaching, the absorption band is decreased. It is remarkable that after operation no additional absorption in the laser region is measured. This is demonstrated by the Δ O.D. graph in Fig. 6(a). Thus the photo products of the irreversible bleached dye molecules are not disturbing the laser process. Only below 560 nm does a weak absorption emerge.

In order to analyze the photo degradation effects in more detail, confocal photo-luminescence analysis is performed. Figure 6(b) shows such a cross section of a cut through a photo-degraded polymer disc measured with a confocal fluorescence microscope (TE 300 with PCM 2000 confocal head, Fa. Nikon GmbH). The fluorescence intensity is proportional to the remaining dye concentration. On the left side of the image an unmodified part of the polymer disc is shown. On the right side the irradiated part of the disc is shown. The pump laser illuminates the disc during the laser work from the bottom. A sharp edge between the two parts can be seen. The disc is bleached continuously from the bottom surface, whereas from the other surface side the dye concentration remains nearly untouched.

The thickness of the bleached region is 1 mm. This corresponds directly to the geometry of the pump focus. The pump laser beam has a 1/e-radius (ω0) of 1 mm at λ = 532 nm (and 1 mrad divergence angle). The beam is focused with a concave mirror with 100 mm radius of curvature or focal length fPM = 50 mm.

The waist radius of the pump focus (ωf) in the gain medium is given by

ωf=λ*fPMπ*ω0.
(7)

For this case the waist radius of the pump laser is in the order of 9 µm. The Rayleigh length zf of this pump focus is given with Eq. (8):
zf=π*ωf2λ
(8)
to zf = 0.5 mm. The confocal parameter b (b = 2*zf) is approximately 1 mm.

For this reason, the photo destruction results in a loss of output power, but also in a reduced effective thickness for the reabsorption term in Eq. (6). This effect reduces the loss in output power for a certain manner. When the face of the polymer disc is switched to the reverse side (from the view of the pump beam), a recovery of 30% of the output power is observed. During the laser operation a small recovery of the output power can be observed when moving the polymer disc together with the motor in Y direction, like a refocusing mechanism. This compensates moderately for the photo-bleaching process.

The used concentration and thickness together give a good compromise in threshold, output efficiency, and long-time stability at the starting point. The high concentration guarantees that over a long time the concentration is high enough to hold on the laser process. The thermal effects are not uncontrollable in this configuration, in contrast to [5

5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In the new setup the thermal load is deposited into a volume 10 times larger. Thus the heat capacity and the focal length of the cylindrical thermal lens are increased. The disc rotation frequency is selected such that the thermal lens does not disturb the resonator stability at all. In comparison to [5

5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], in the present setup a stable laser action up to 4.5 W pump power is provided.

5. Conclusion and outlook

In this paper, a solid state cw organic dye laser is presented. A first demonstrator setup is shown in Fig. 7
Fig. 7 Photography of the laser within the laser housing including the pump-laser during laser operation.
, whose optical setup is nearly identical with the breadboard setup. The laser is optically pumped by a frequency doubled Nd:VO4 laser. The pump laser is integrated in the laser housing (dimensions 60 × 40 × 20 cm3). The system is micro-controller controlled and provides all security features for use in laboratories as well as in workshops.

For the first time the features of a solid-state cw organic dye laser are adequate for practical use. The resulting beam parameters, e.g., divergence angle, intensity profile, and spectral characteristics are investigated. The new device shows both excellent long- and short-time power stability. This stability is reached even at an output power up to 800 mW at 575 nm. The excellent power stability of the presented dye laser provides cw laser output over hours without remarkable power loss. Moreover, a nearly circular mode-profile is achieved with an M2 better than 1.4 by using a specially designed laser cavity. The high output power, a broad spectral tuning range (>30 nm around 575 nm), and a spectral width < 3 GHz as well as a remarkably good beam profile make the features of the new laser comparable or even better than commercial liquid dye lasers.

Because of the solid-state laser medium, the new laser provides no contamination risks and can be used in medical and biological labs as well as in clean rooms. Besides the integrated construction, the solid condition of the active medium is the most important advantage in comparison to commercial cw dye lasers. It should also be noticed that a change of the active medium is easily possible and can be done in less than one minute. For that purpose no cleaning process is required at all.

The used organic dye is a member of the class of perylene molecules. It is known that members of this chemical class have inherent extraordinary photo stability and a fluorescence quantum yield close to unity. In addition, by modification of the molecular structure, the absorption and fluorescence and therefore the tuning range for laser emission can be moved from 400 to 800 nm. By the use of different perylene dyes, it can be expected that tunable laser emission over the whole visible spectral range can be obtained. Moreover, the tuning range should be extendable to the near infrared. These exceptions are underlined by the detailed investigation of the photochemical decomposition of the solved dye molecules. It is shown that power decrease is finally caused by photo bleaching and reabsorption of photo products. The polymer host does not influence the long-time power stability.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by BMBF program “Wissenschaftliche Vorprojekte” under contract number 13N0460. We acknowledge useful discussions with Dr. Lerche (Fa. CDA Datenträger Albrechts GmbH), A. Kuntze (Compact Laser Solutions GmbH), and Dr. Mustroph (Fa. FEW Chemicals GmbH).

References and links

1.

O. G. Peterson, S. A. Tuccio, and B. B. Snavely, “Cw operation of an organic dye solution laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 17(6), 245–247 (1970). [CrossRef]

2.

J.-C. Diels, “Femtosecond dye lasers,” in Dye Laser Principles, Duarte & Hillman, eds. (Academic Press, 1990), pp. 41–132.

3.

J. F. Duarte, Tunable Laser Applications, 2nd ed. (CRC Press, 2009).

4.

T. Hänsch, M. Pernier, and A. Schawlow, “Laser action of dyes in gelatin,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 7(1), 45–46 (1971). [CrossRef]

5.

R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett. 31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6.

G. Kytina, V. G. Kytin, and K. Lips, “High-power polymer dye laser with improved stability,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 84(24), 4902–4904 (2004). [CrossRef]

7.

T. Rabe, K. Gerlach, T. Riedl, H.-H. Johannes, W. Kowalsky, J. Niederhofer, W. Gries, J. Wang, T. Weimann, P. Hinze, F. Galbrecht, and U. Scherf, “Quasi-continuous-wave operation of an organic thin-film distributed feedback laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(8), 081115 (2006). [CrossRef]

8.

K. Yamashita, K. Hase, H. Yanagi, and K. Oe, “Optical amplification in organic dye-doped polymeric channel waveguide under cw optical pumping,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 46(28), L688–L690 (2007). [CrossRef]

9.

H. Nakanotani, C. Adachi, S. Watanabe, and R. Katoh, “Spectrally narrow emission from organic films under continuous-wave excitation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 90(23), 231109 (2007). [CrossRef]

10.

J. Yang, M. Diemeer, C. Grivas, G. Sengo, A. Driessen, and M. Pollnau, “Steady-state lasing in a solid polymer,” Laser Phys. Lett. 7(9), 650–656 (2010). [CrossRef]

11.

H. Kogelnik, E. Ippen, A. Dienes, and C. Shank, “Astigmatically compensated cavities for cw dye lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 8(3), 373–379 (1972). [CrossRef]

12.

R. Reisfeld, “Fluorescent dyes in sol-gel glasses,” J. Fluoresc. 12(3/4), 317–325 (2002). [CrossRef]

13.

M. Weiss, E. Yariv, and R. Reisfeld, “Photostability of luminescent dyes in solid-state dye lasers,” Opt. Mater. 24(1-2), 31–34 (2003). [CrossRef]

14.

S. A. El-Daly, M. K. Awad, S. T. Abdel-Halim, and D. A. Dowidar, “Photophysical properties and semiempirical calculations of perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic tetramethylester (PTME),” Spectrochim. Acta A Mol. Biomol. Spectrosc. 71(3), 1063–1069 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

M. Faloss, M. Canva, P. Georges, A. Brun, F. Chaput, and J. P. Boilot, “Toward millions of laser pulses with pyrromethene- and perylene-doped xerogels,” Appl. Opt. 36(27), 6760–6763 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

M. D. Rahn, T. A. King, A. A. Gorman, and I. Hamblett, “Photostability enhancement of pyrromethene 567 and perylene orange in oxygen-free liquid and solid dye lasers,” Appl. Opt. 36(24), 5862–5871 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

D. Malacara, Optical Shop Testing, 3rd ed. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007).

18.

ISO 11146, Laser and laser related equipment-Test methods for laser beam widths, divergence angles and beam propagation ratios: ISO 11146–1:2005, Part 1: Stigmatic and simple astigmatic beams; ISO11146–2:2005, Part 2: General astigmatic beams; ISO/TR 11146–3:2004, Part 3: Intrinsic and geometrical laser beam classification, propagation, and details of test method; ISO/TR 11146–3:2004/Cor1:2005 (International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2005).

19.

J. Eichler, L. Dünkel, and B. Eppich, “Die Strahlqualitaet von Lasern–Wie bestimmt man Beugungsmasszahl und Strahldurchmesser in der Praxis?” Laser Technik J., 63–66 (2004).

20.

E. Thiel, Entwicklung eines inkohärent gepumpten kontinuierlichen Farbstofflasers (Universität Siegen, 1987).

21.

U. Brackmann, “Lambdachrome Laser Dyes,” (Lambda Physik, Göttingen, 2000).

OCIS Codes
(140.2050) Lasers and laser optics : Dye lasers
(140.3580) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, solid-state
(140.3600) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, tunable
(140.7300) Lasers and laser optics : Visible lasers

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: September 21, 2011
Revised Manuscript: November 3, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: November 7, 2011
Published: December 9, 2011

Citation
R. Bornemann, E. Thiel, and P. Haring Bolívar, "High-power solid-state cw dye laser," Opt. Express 19, 26382-26393 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-27-26382


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References

  1. O. G. Peterson, S. A. Tuccio, and B. B. Snavely, “Cw operation of an organic dye solution laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett.17(6), 245–247 (1970). [CrossRef]
  2. J.-C. Diels, “Femtosecond dye lasers,” in Dye Laser Principles, Duarte & Hillman, eds. (Academic Press, 1990), pp. 41–132.
  3. J. F. Duarte, Tunable Laser Applications, 2nd ed. (CRC Press, 2009).
  4. T. Hänsch, M. Pernier, and A. Schawlow, “Laser action of dyes in gelatin,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron.7(1), 45–46 (1971). [CrossRef]
  5. R. Bornemann, U. Lemmer, and E. Thiel, “Continuous-wave solid-state dye laser,” Opt. Lett.31(11), 1669–1671 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. G. Kytina, V. G. Kytin, and K. Lips, “High-power polymer dye laser with improved stability,” Appl. Phys. Lett.84(24), 4902–4904 (2004). [CrossRef]
  7. T. Rabe, K. Gerlach, T. Riedl, H.-H. Johannes, W. Kowalsky, J. Niederhofer, W. Gries, J. Wang, T. Weimann, P. Hinze, F. Galbrecht, and U. Scherf, “Quasi-continuous-wave operation of an organic thin-film distributed feedback laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett.89(8), 081115 (2006). [CrossRef]
  8. K. Yamashita, K. Hase, H. Yanagi, and K. Oe, “Optical amplification in organic dye-doped polymeric channel waveguide under cw optical pumping,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys.46(28), L688–L690 (2007). [CrossRef]
  9. H. Nakanotani, C. Adachi, S. Watanabe, and R. Katoh, “Spectrally narrow emission from organic films under continuous-wave excitation,” Appl. Phys. Lett.90(23), 231109 (2007). [CrossRef]
  10. J. Yang, M. Diemeer, C. Grivas, G. Sengo, A. Driessen, and M. Pollnau, “Steady-state lasing in a solid polymer,” Laser Phys. Lett.7(9), 650–656 (2010). [CrossRef]
  11. H. Kogelnik, E. Ippen, A. Dienes, and C. Shank, “Astigmatically compensated cavities for cw dye lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron.8(3), 373–379 (1972). [CrossRef]
  12. R. Reisfeld, “Fluorescent dyes in sol-gel glasses,” J. Fluoresc.12(3/4), 317–325 (2002). [CrossRef]
  13. M. Weiss, E. Yariv, and R. Reisfeld, “Photostability of luminescent dyes in solid-state dye lasers,” Opt. Mater.24(1-2), 31–34 (2003). [CrossRef]
  14. S. A. El-Daly, M. K. Awad, S. T. Abdel-Halim, and D. A. Dowidar, “Photophysical properties and semiempirical calculations of perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic tetramethylester (PTME),” Spectrochim. Acta A Mol. Biomol. Spectrosc.71(3), 1063–1069 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. M. Faloss, M. Canva, P. Georges, A. Brun, F. Chaput, and J. P. Boilot, “Toward millions of laser pulses with pyrromethene- and perylene-doped xerogels,” Appl. Opt.36(27), 6760–6763 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. M. D. Rahn, T. A. King, A. A. Gorman, and I. Hamblett, “Photostability enhancement of pyrromethene 567 and perylene orange in oxygen-free liquid and solid dye lasers,” Appl. Opt.36(24), 5862–5871 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. D. Malacara, Optical Shop Testing, 3rd ed. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007).
  18. ISO 11146, Laser and laser related equipment-Test methods for laser beam widths, divergence angles and beam propagation ratios: ISO 11146–1:2005, Part 1: Stigmatic and simple astigmatic beams; ISO11146–2:2005, Part 2: General astigmatic beams; ISO/TR 11146–3:2004, Part 3: Intrinsic and geometrical laser beam classification, propagation, and details of test method; ISO/TR 11146–3:2004/Cor1:2005 (International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2005).
  19. J. Eichler, L. Dünkel, and B. Eppich, “Die Strahlqualitaet von Lasern–Wie bestimmt man Beugungsmasszahl und Strahldurchmesser in der Praxis?” Laser Technik J., 63–66 (2004).
  20. E. Thiel, Entwicklung eines inkohärent gepumpten kontinuierlichen Farbstofflasers (Universität Siegen, 1987).
  21. U. Brackmann, “Lambdachrome Laser Dyes,” (Lambda Physik, Göttingen, 2000).

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