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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 16 — Aug. 12, 2013
  • pp: 18919–18926
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Comparative study on the acousto-optic Q-switched pulse performances of 1520 and 1560 nm lasers in Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R = Y and Lu) crystals

Yujin Chen, Yanfu Lin, Jianhua Huang, Xinghong Gong, Zundu Luo, and Yidong Huang  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 16, pp. 18919-18926 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.018919


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Abstract

1520 and 1560 nm acousto-optic Q-switched pulse lasers with high peak power and narrow width were respectively realized in Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R = Y and Lu) crystals end-pumped by a 970 nm diode laser. For Er:Yb:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal, 1520 nm laser with 350 μJ energy, 32 ns width and 10.9 kW peak power, and 1560 nm laser with 520 μJ energy, 67 ns width and 7.8 kW peak power were respectively obtained at pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz. For Er:Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 crystal, 1520 nm laser with 210 μJ energy, 45 ns width and 4.7 kW peak power, and 1560 nm laser with 380 μJ energy, 102 ns width and 3.7 kW peak power were respectively obtained at pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz. Pulse performances of 1520 and 1560 nm lasers were compared and the narrower pulse width of 1520 nm laser was ascribed to the higher stimulated emission cross-section.

© 2013 OSA

1. Introduction

High-peak-power and short-duration eye-safe 1.5-1.6 μm solid-state Q-switched pulse lasers with high repetition frequency are required for some applications, such as range finding, lidar, and telecommunications [1

1. P. Laporta, S. Taccheo, S. Longhi, O. Svelto, and C. Svelto, “Erbium-ytterbium microlasers: optical properties and lasing characteristics,” Opt. Mater. 11(2-3), 269–288 (1999). [CrossRef]

3

3. T. Yanagisawa, K. Asaka, K. Hamazu, and Y. Hirano, “11-mJ, 15-Hz single-frequency diode-pumped Q-switched Er, Yb:phosphate glass laser,” Opt. Lett. 26(16), 1262–1264 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. At present, based on Er3+ and Yb3+ codoped materials, 1.5-1.6 μm pulse lasers have been realized by Q-switched techniques [1

1. P. Laporta, S. Taccheo, S. Longhi, O. Svelto, and C. Svelto, “Erbium-ytterbium microlasers: optical properties and lasing characteristics,” Opt. Mater. 11(2-3), 269–288 (1999). [CrossRef]

5

5. Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B 96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. Compared with passively Q-switched pulse laser, actively Q-switched one has smaller interpulse time jittering and more stable pulse repetition frequency [6

6. G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, and J. A. Tellefsen, “Q-switching of an Er-Yb:glass microchip laser using an acousto-optical modulator,” Opt. Commun. 217(1-6), 317–324 (2003). [CrossRef]

]. Therefore, actively Q-switched pulse laser may be more attractive for some applications.

Different methods of the actively Q-switching by using the acousto-optic modulator [6

6. G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, and J. A. Tellefsen, “Q-switching of an Er-Yb:glass microchip laser using an acousto-optical modulator,” Opt. Commun. 217(1-6), 317–324 (2003). [CrossRef]

], electro-optic modulator [3

3. T. Yanagisawa, K. Asaka, K. Hamazu, and Y. Hirano, “11-mJ, 15-Hz single-frequency diode-pumped Q-switched Er, Yb:phosphate glass laser,” Opt. Lett. 26(16), 1262–1264 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) shutter [7

7. S. V. Gagarskiǐ, B. I. Galagan, B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, K. V. Prikhod’ko, and S. E. Sverchkov, “Diode-pumped ytterbium-erbium glass microlasers with optical Q-switching based on frustrated total internal reflection,” Quantum Electron. 30(1), 10–12 (2000). [CrossRef]

] have been adopted in the pulse laser operation of Er3+ and Yb3+ codoped phosphate glass. However, due to the limitation of low thermal conductivity of glass host, high-peak-power 1.5-1.6 μm actively Q-switched pulse laser with high repetition frequency is difficult to be obtained in the Er3+ and Yb3+ codoped phosphate glass [3

3. T. Yanagisawa, K. Asaka, K. Hamazu, and Y. Hirano, “11-mJ, 15-Hz single-frequency diode-pumped Q-switched Er, Yb:phosphate glass laser,” Opt. Lett. 26(16), 1262–1264 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 5

5. Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B 96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. Er3+ and Yb3+ codoped YAG and YVO4 crystals with high thermal conductivity have also been investigated as gain media of 1.5-1.6 μm laser [5

5. Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B 96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]

, 8

8. E. Georgiou, O. Musset, and J. Boquillon, “Free-running and Q-switched performance of a diode-pumped Er:Yb:YAG laser emitting at 1.65μm,” Proc. SPIE 6190, 619009, 619009-9 (2006). [CrossRef]

, 9

9. Y. H. Tsang, D. J. Binks, B. D. O. Richards, and A. Jha, “Spectroscopic and lasing studies of Ce3+:Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 crystals,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(10), 729–735 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. However, strong reverse energy transfer from Er3+ to Yb3+ in combination with intense upconversion fluorescence of Er3+ in these crystals will reduce the population of upper laser level 4I13/2, and then make the operation efficiency and output power of 1.5-1.6 μm lasers low. Consequently, high-peak-power 1.5-1.6 μm pulse laser with high repetition frequency has not been obtained in the Er:Yb:YAG and Er:Yb:YVO4 crystals till now [5

5. Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B 96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]

, 8

8. E. Georgiou, O. Musset, and J. Boquillon, “Free-running and Q-switched performance of a diode-pumped Er:Yb:YAG laser emitting at 1.65μm,” Proc. SPIE 6190, 619009, 619009-9 (2006). [CrossRef]

].

Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (Er:Yb:RAB, R = Y and Lu) crystals have been demonstrated as excellent gain media of 1.5-1.6 μm laser due to their good thermal conductivity and efficient laser operation efficiency (up to 35% for continuous-wave laser) [10

10. N. A. Tolstik, S. V. Kurilchik, V. E. Kisel, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, O. V. Pilipenko, E. V. Koporulina, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Efficient 1 W continuous-wave diode-pumped Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3233–3235 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12

12. Y. J. Li, J. X. Feng, P. Li, K. Sh. Zhang, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, and Y. D. Huang, “400 mW low noise continuous-wave single-frequency Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.55 μm,” Opt. Express 21(5), 6082–6090 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Passively mode-locked and Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm pulse laser operations have also been realized in the crystals [13

13. A. A. Lagatsky, V. E. Kisel, A. E. Troshin, N. A. Tolstik, N. V. Kuleshov, N. I. Leonyuk, A. E. Zhukov, E. U. Rafailov, and W. Sibbett, “Diode-pumped passively mode-locked Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Lett. 33(1), 83–85 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15

15. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, Y. Q. Zou, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Passively Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm Er:Yb:LuAl3(BO3)4 laser with Co2+:Mg0.4Al2.4O4 saturable absorber,” Opt. Express 20(9), 9940–9947 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. By using an acousto-optic modulator, 1560 nm actively Q-switched laser with peak power of about 5 kW and pulse width of 110 ns at pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 1 kHz in an Er:Yb:LuAB crystal has been reported [16

16. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1560 nm acousto-optic Q-switched and intracavity frequency doubling laser performances of Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R=Y and Lu) crystals,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 48(5), 616–621 (2012). [CrossRef]

]. In this work, 1520 nm acousto-optic Q-switched laser with higher peak power and narrower pulse width was realized in the crystals by using a specially designed output mirror. Furthermore, pulse performances of 1520 and 1560 nm lasers were compared under similar experimental conditions.

2. Laser experimental arrangement

End-pumped linear resonator was adopted in the experiment and the schematic diagram of experimental setup is depicted in Fig. 1
Fig. 1 Experimental setup of the 970 nm diode-end-pumped acousto-optic Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB (R = Y and Lu) pulse lasers at 1520 and 1560 nm.
. An Er(1.1 at.%):Yb(25 at.%):YAB and an Er(1.1 at.%):Yb(24.1 at.%):LuAB crystal chips were used as gain media, respectively. Both the polished chips are c-cut and about 0.7 mm thick. A 970 nm fiber-coupled diode laser (800 μm diameter core) from Coherent Inc. was used as the pump source. After passing a simple telescopic lens system (TLS), the pump beam was focused to a spot with waist radius of about 220 µm in the chip. The uncoated crystal chip was attached on an aluminum slab with heat-conducting adhesive and there is a hole in the center of the slab to permit the passing of the pump and fundamental laser beams. For making the laser more compact, no other device was used to control the temperature of the chip, which is only cooled by the natural air. In order to reduce the influence of pump-induced thermal load on laser performance and avoid the fracture of the chip at high pump power, the diode laser was operated in quasi-continuous-wave (quasi-cw) mode. Pump pulse width was 2 ms and pulse period was 100 ms. About 80% of incident pump power was absorbed by each chip. Laser resonator was consisted of a flat input mirror (IM) and a curved output mirror (OM) with a radius curvature of 100 mm. The resonator length was fixed at about 45 mm.

In order to realize actively Q-switched operation, an acousto-optic modulator (AOM) (Gooch & Housego Co.) antireflection coated at 1.5-1.6 μm and driven at 80 MHz center frequency with radio-frequency power of 10 W was inserted between the chip and OM. Duty cycle of the AOM was fixed at 15% and PRF can be tuned continuously. By the good alignment of the AOM, lasing can be effectively prohibited when the radio-frequency signal is supplied and Q-switching takes place when the radio-frequency signal is switched off. Pulse profile was measured by a 2 GHz InGaAs photodiode connected to a digital oscilloscope with bandwidths of 1 GHz (DSO6102A, Agilent).

3. Results and discussion

Because the gain spectra of Er:Yb:RAB crystals are broad and have some discrete gain peaks [10

10. N. A. Tolstik, S. V. Kurilchik, V. E. Kisel, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, O. V. Pilipenko, E. V. Koporulina, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Efficient 1 W continuous-wave diode-pumped Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3233–3235 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 11

11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], laser oscillations at different wavelengths can be realized simultaneously in the case of high cavity gain when the cavity mirrors with flat transmission curves in the range of 1.5-1.6 μm were used [11

11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 17

17. H. Y. Zhu, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, C. H. Huang, Y. M. Duan, Y. Wei, Y. D. Huang, and G. Zhang, “Actively Q-switch operation of diode-pumped Er, Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6μm,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(2), 111–115 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. Multi-wavelength oscillation accompanied by the generation of multi-pulse in Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers will seriously debase the performances of output lasers and limit their applications [17

17. H. Y. Zhu, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, C. H. Huang, Y. M. Duan, Y. Wei, Y. D. Huang, and G. Zhang, “Actively Q-switch operation of diode-pumped Er, Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6μm,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(2), 111–115 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. In this work, in order to realize the laser operation at single wavelength of 1520 nm and suppress the oscillations at other gain peak wavelengths in the Er:Yb:RAB crystals, transmission curve of OM was specially designed in the range of 1.5-1.6 μm [18

18. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1.1 W diode-pumped Er:Yb laser at 1520 nm,” Opt. Lett. 32(18), 2759–2761 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Transmittance of OM at 1520 nm was about 2.6% and those at the other gain peak wavelengths of 1550, 1580 and 1600 nm were 3.8%, 5.0% and 6.5%, respectively. For IM, transmittance at the pump wavelength of 970 nm was about 90% and reflectance at 1.5-1.6 μm was higher than 99.8%.

By using the above cavity mirrors, actively Q-switched pulse laser operation at single wavelength of 1520 nm was realized in the Er:Yb:RAB crystals. As an example, output spectrum of the acousto-optic Q-switched Er:Yb:LuAB laser at PRF of 1 kHz and absorbed pump power of 13.7 W is shown in Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Pulse energy of the acousto-optic Q-switched 1520 nm laser at absorbed pump power of 13.7 W versus PRF in Er:Yb:RAB (R = Y and Lu) crystals. Spectrum of the acousto-optic Q-switched Er:Yb:LuAB laser at PRF of 1 kHz is also shown.
, which was recorded with a monochromator (Triax550, Jobin-Yvon) associated with a TE-cooled Ge detector (DSS-G025T, Jobin-Yvon). To our knowledge, 1520 nm is the shortest laser oscillating wavelength realized in Er3+ doped crystalline materials at present. Er3+ doped fiber (EDF) has received a great deal of interest as 1.5-1.6 μm laser medium and broad lasing tunable range from 1450 to 1548 nm has been demonstrated in EDF [19

19. N. K. Chen, C. M. Hung, S. Chi, and Y. Lai, “Towards the short-wavelength limit lasing at 1450 nm over 4I13/24I15/2 transition in silica-based erbium-doped fiber,” Opt. Express 15(25), 16448–16456 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. However, actively Q-switching technique of EDF laser is complex and some deleterious effects [20

20. D. J. Richardson, J. Nilsson, and W. A. Clarkson, “High power fiber lasers: current status and future perspectives,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27(11), B63–B92 (2010). [CrossRef]

], such as fiber nonlinearity and gain saturation, etc., will degrade the output performances of pulse laser. Therefore, crystalline laser may be more suitable for generating Q-switched pulses. For Er3+ doped crystals, the shortest oscillating wavelength reported previously in actively Q-switched laser is 1560 nm in Er:Yb:RAB crystals [16

16. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1560 nm acousto-optic Q-switched and intracavity frequency doubling laser performances of Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R=Y and Lu) crystals,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 48(5), 616–621 (2012). [CrossRef]

]. Furthermore, in Er3+ doped YAG and YVO4 crystals, the shortest oscillating wavelength realized in actively Q-switched lasers are 1617 and 1603 nm, respectively [5

5. Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B 96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]

, 21

21. J. W. Kim, D. Y. Shen, J. K. Sahu, and W. A. Clarkson, “Fiber-laser-pumped Er:YAG lasers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 15(2), 361–371 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. Compared with these laser wavelengths, 1520 nm is closer to the sensitive peak wavelength of Ge and InGaAs photodiodes at room temperature [22

22. H. Lara, “Navigating the features and limitations of laser power and energy meters,” Laser Focus World 39, 137–141 (2003).

]. For example, sensitivities at 1560, 1603 and 1617 nm for lower-cost Ge photodiode are roughly estimated to be about 85%, 65% and 50% of that at 1520 nm, respectively [22

22. H. Lara, “Navigating the features and limitations of laser power and energy meters,” Laser Focus World 39, 137–141 (2003).

]. Therefore, 1520 nm actively-Q switched pulse laser may be more useful for some applications required high measuring accuracy. At absorbed pump power of 13.7 W, pulse energy of the Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers versus PRF is also shown in Fig. 2. When PRF was 1 kHz, the maximum pulse energies of 350 and 210 μJ were obtained in Er:Yb:LuAB and Er:Yb:YAB crystals, respectively.

Figure 3
Fig. 3 Pulse width of the acousto-optic Q-switched 1520 nm laser at absorbed pump power of 13.7 W versus PRF in Er:Yb:RAB (R = Y and Lu) crystals. Pulse profiles of the acousto-optic Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers at PRF of 1 kHz are also shown.
shows pulse width of the Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers versus PRF at absorbed pump power of 13.7 W. When PRF decreased from 30 to 1 kHz, pulse width reduced from 88 to 32 ns and from 94 to 45 ns for Er:Yb:LuAB and Er:Yb:YAB crystals, respectively. The temporal pulse profiles of the Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers at PRF of 1 kHz are also shown in Fig. 3. Peak power of the Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB pulse lasers versus PRF at absorbed pump power of 13.7 W is shown in Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Peak power of the acousto-optic Q-switched 1520 nm pulse laser at absorbed pump power of 13.7 W versus PRF in Er:Yb:RAB (R = Y and Lu) crystals. Spatial profiles of output beams of the acousto-optic Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers at PRF of 1 kHz are also shown.
. Maximum peak powers of 10.9 and 4.7 kW were obtained at PRF of 1 kHz in Er:Yb:LuAB and Er:Yb:YAB crystals, respectively. Spatial profiles of output beams of the Q-switched Er:Yb:RAB lasers at PRF of 1 kHz were recorded with a Pyrocam III camera (Ophir Optronics Ltd.), which are also shown in Fig. 4. The quality factors M2 of output beams of the Q-switched Er:Yb:LuAB and Er:Yb:YAB lasers were estimated to be about 2.4 and 2.1, respectively, when PRF was 1 kHz and absorbed pump power was 13.7 W.

It can be found from Figs. 3 and 6 that for both the crystals, pulse width of 1520 nm laser is narrower than that of 1560 nm. Theoretically, the minimum possible pulse width tw of a Q-switched laser can be estimated by [6

6. G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, and J. A. Tellefsen, “Q-switching of an Er-Yb:glass microchip laser using an acousto-optical modulator,” Opt. Commun. 217(1-6), 317–324 (2003). [CrossRef]

, 23

23. J. J. Degnan, “Theory of the optimally coupled Q-switched laser,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 25(2), 214–220 (1989). [CrossRef]

]:
tw=8.1trtln(Grt)=8.1trtσnil,
(1)
where trt is the round-trip time of light within the laser cavity, Grt is the round-trip small-signal gain, σ is the stimulated emission cross-section at the lasing wavelength, ni is the initial inversion density, and l is the length of gain medium. For both the crystals, the stimulated emission cross-section at 1520 nm is larger than that at 1560 nm [10

10. N. A. Tolstik, S. V. Kurilchik, V. E. Kisel, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, O. V. Pilipenko, E. V. Koporulina, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Efficient 1 W continuous-wave diode-pumped Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3233–3235 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 11

11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. As an example, the stimulated emission cross-sections at 1520 and 1560 nm in Er:Yb:LuAB crystal for α-polarization are 1.85 × 10−20 and 0.65 × 10−20 cm2, respectively [11

11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Therefore, pulse width of 1520 nm Q-switched laser become narrower. However, due to the higher reabsorption loss caused by the larger absorption cross-section at 1520 nm [10

10. N. A. Tolstik, S. V. Kurilchik, V. E. Kisel, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, O. V. Pilipenko, E. V. Koporulina, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Efficient 1 W continuous-wave diode-pumped Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3233–3235 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 11

11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], the net gain at 1520 nm laser is lower than that at 1560 nm. Then, pulse energy obtained in 1520 nm Q-switched laser is lower than that in 1560 nm laser, which can be seen in Figs. 2 and 5 for both the crystals. Compared with those of Er:Yb:YAB crystal, narrower pulse width and higher energy obtained in Er:Yb:LuAB crystal are originated from its higher round-trip small-signal gain and crystal optical quality [11

11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 16

16. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1560 nm acousto-optic Q-switched and intracavity frequency doubling laser performances of Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R=Y and Lu) crystals,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 48(5), 616–621 (2012). [CrossRef]

]. Some parameters of diode-end-pumped actively Q-switched Er:Yb:LuAB, Er:Yb:phosphate glass, and Er:Yb:YVO4 pulse lasers at 1.5-1.6 μm are listed in Table 1

Table 1. Pulse parameters of some diode-end-pumped actively Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm lasers based on Er-Yb codoped materials

table-icon
View This Table
. It can be seen that compared with those of Er:Yb:phosphate glass and Er:Yb:YVO4 crystal, a high-frequency 1520 nm pulse laser with narrower width and higher peak power can be realized in the Er:Yb:LuAB crystal. To our knowledge, 10.9 kW peak power is the highest value reported in a 970 nm diode-end-pumped actively Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm laser till now. Pulse width of 38 ns has been obtained in the Er:Yb:glass laser with the cavity length of 20 mm [6

6. G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, and J. A. Tellefsen, “Q-switching of an Er-Yb:glass microchip laser using an acousto-optical modulator,” Opt. Commun. 217(1-6), 317–324 (2003). [CrossRef]

]. In our experiment, the cavity length was limited at about 45 mm by the volume of the metal housing of AOM. Therefore, if the used AOM is more compact in the future, a 1520 nm pulse laser with narrower width less than 32 ns and then higher peak power can be expected in the Er:Yb:LuAB crystal.

Compared with other Er3+ and Yb3+ codoped materials, higher pulse laser performances can be realized in Er:Yb:RAB crystals. However, owing to the nature of incongruent melting, RAB crystals can only be grown by the flux method which required a long growth period (about 1 month). The optical quality of the crystals was affected by the fluctuation of the crystal growth temperature and composition. Some defects, such as impurity, dislocation and twinning, were observed in the Er:Yb:RAB crystals. The variation of crystal optical quality causes difficulties in the accurate measurement of some performance parameters, such as energy transfer rate, upconversion coefficient, thermal conductivity, damage threshold, and thermal focal length, etc., which may result in the lacking of a laser energetic model that describes this crystal till now.

4. Conclusion

Acousto-optic Q-switched pulse lasers at single wavelength of 1520 nm were demonstrated for Er:Yb:YAB and Er:Yb:LuAB crystals in a 970 nm diode-end-pumped hemispherical cavity with a specially designed output mirror. When absorbed pump power was 13.7 W and PRF was 1 kHz, 1520 nm Q-switched pulse lasers with 350 μJ energy, 32 ns width, 10.9 kW peak power, and with 210 μJ energy, 45 ns width, 4.7 kW peak power were achieved in Er:Yb:LuAB and Er:Yb:YAB crystals, respectively. Compared with that of 1560 nm pulse laser obtained under similar experimental conditions, pulse width of 1520 nm laser become narrower, which may be caused by the larger stimulated emission cross-section. The experimental results shown that Er:Yb:RAB crystal is one kind of excellent gain media of actively Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm pulse laser, and 1520 nm may be a more suitable laser wavelength for obtaining the pulse laser with higher peak power and narrower pulse width.

Acknowledgments

This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 91122033), Chunmiao Project of Haixi Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CMZX-2013-005), and the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant KJCX2-EW-H03-01).

References and links

1.

P. Laporta, S. Taccheo, S. Longhi, O. Svelto, and C. Svelto, “Erbium-ytterbium microlasers: optical properties and lasing characteristics,” Opt. Mater. 11(2-3), 269–288 (1999). [CrossRef]

2.

R. Häring, R. Paschotta, R. Fluck, E. Gini, H. Melchior, and U. Keller, “Passively Q-switched microchip laser at 1.5 μm,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 18(12), 1805–1812 (2001). [CrossRef]

3.

T. Yanagisawa, K. Asaka, K. Hamazu, and Y. Hirano, “11-mJ, 15-Hz single-frequency diode-pumped Q-switched Er, Yb:phosphate glass laser,” Opt. Lett. 26(16), 1262–1264 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

J. E. Hellström, G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, B. Denker, S. Sverchkov, B. Galagan, and L. Ivleva, “Passive Q-switching at 1.54 μm of an Er-Yb:GdCa4O(BO3)3 laser with a Co2+:MgAl2O4 saturable absorber,” Appl. Phys. B 81(1), 49–52 (2005). [CrossRef]

5.

Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B 96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]

6.

G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, and J. A. Tellefsen, “Q-switching of an Er-Yb:glass microchip laser using an acousto-optical modulator,” Opt. Commun. 217(1-6), 317–324 (2003). [CrossRef]

7.

S. V. Gagarskiǐ, B. I. Galagan, B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, K. V. Prikhod’ko, and S. E. Sverchkov, “Diode-pumped ytterbium-erbium glass microlasers with optical Q-switching based on frustrated total internal reflection,” Quantum Electron. 30(1), 10–12 (2000). [CrossRef]

8.

E. Georgiou, O. Musset, and J. Boquillon, “Free-running and Q-switched performance of a diode-pumped Er:Yb:YAG laser emitting at 1.65μm,” Proc. SPIE 6190, 619009, 619009-9 (2006). [CrossRef]

9.

Y. H. Tsang, D. J. Binks, B. D. O. Richards, and A. Jha, “Spectroscopic and lasing studies of Ce3+:Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 crystals,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(10), 729–735 (2011). [CrossRef]

10.

N. A. Tolstik, S. V. Kurilchik, V. E. Kisel, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, O. V. Pilipenko, E. V. Koporulina, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Efficient 1 W continuous-wave diode-pumped Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(22), 3233–3235 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express 18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

Y. J. Li, J. X. Feng, P. Li, K. Sh. Zhang, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, and Y. D. Huang, “400 mW low noise continuous-wave single-frequency Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.55 μm,” Opt. Express 21(5), 6082–6090 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

A. A. Lagatsky, V. E. Kisel, A. E. Troshin, N. A. Tolstik, N. V. Kuleshov, N. I. Leonyuk, A. E. Zhukov, E. U. Rafailov, and W. Sibbett, “Diode-pumped passively mode-locked Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Lett. 33(1), 83–85 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14.

V. E. Kisel, K. N. Gorbachenya, A. S. Yasukevich, A. M. Ivashko, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Passively Q-switched microchip Er, Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 diode-pumped laser,” Opt. Lett. 37(13), 2745–2747 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, Y. Q. Zou, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Passively Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm Er:Yb:LuAl3(BO3)4 laser with Co2+:Mg0.4Al2.4O4 saturable absorber,” Opt. Express 20(9), 9940–9947 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1560 nm acousto-optic Q-switched and intracavity frequency doubling laser performances of Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R=Y and Lu) crystals,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 48(5), 616–621 (2012). [CrossRef]

17.

H. Y. Zhu, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, C. H. Huang, Y. M. Duan, Y. Wei, Y. D. Huang, and G. Zhang, “Actively Q-switch operation of diode-pumped Er, Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6μm,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(2), 111–115 (2011). [CrossRef]

18.

Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1.1 W diode-pumped Er:Yb laser at 1520 nm,” Opt. Lett. 32(18), 2759–2761 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

19.

N. K. Chen, C. M. Hung, S. Chi, and Y. Lai, “Towards the short-wavelength limit lasing at 1450 nm over 4I13/24I15/2 transition in silica-based erbium-doped fiber,” Opt. Express 15(25), 16448–16456 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

20.

D. J. Richardson, J. Nilsson, and W. A. Clarkson, “High power fiber lasers: current status and future perspectives,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27(11), B63–B92 (2010). [CrossRef]

21.

J. W. Kim, D. Y. Shen, J. K. Sahu, and W. A. Clarkson, “Fiber-laser-pumped Er:YAG lasers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 15(2), 361–371 (2009). [CrossRef]

22.

H. Lara, “Navigating the features and limitations of laser power and energy meters,” Laser Focus World 39, 137–141 (2003).

23.

J. J. Degnan, “Theory of the optimally coupled Q-switched laser,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 25(2), 214–220 (1989). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(140.3380) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.3500) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, erbium
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: May 30, 2013
Revised Manuscript: July 14, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: July 14, 2013
Published: August 1, 2013

Citation
Yujin Chen, Yanfu Lin, Jianhua Huang, Xinghong Gong, Zundu Luo, and Yidong Huang, "Comparative study on the acousto-optic Q-switched pulse performances of 1520 and 1560 nm lasers in Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R = Y and Lu) crystals," Opt. Express 21, 18919-18926 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-16-18919


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References

  1. P. Laporta, S. Taccheo, S. Longhi, O. Svelto, and C. Svelto, “Erbium-ytterbium microlasers: optical properties and lasing characteristics,” Opt. Mater.11(2-3), 269–288 (1999). [CrossRef]
  2. R. Häring, R. Paschotta, R. Fluck, E. Gini, H. Melchior, and U. Keller, “Passively Q-switched microchip laser at 1.5 μm,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B18(12), 1805–1812 (2001). [CrossRef]
  3. T. Yanagisawa, K. Asaka, K. Hamazu, and Y. Hirano, “11-mJ, 15-Hz single-frequency diode-pumped Q-switched Er, Yb:phosphate glass laser,” Opt. Lett.26(16), 1262–1264 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. J. E. Hellström, G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, B. Denker, S. Sverchkov, B. Galagan, and L. Ivleva, “Passive Q-switching at 1.54 μm of an Er-Yb:GdCa4O(BO3)3 laser with a Co2+:MgAl2O4 saturable absorber,” Appl. Phys. B81(1), 49–52 (2005). [CrossRef]
  5. Y. H. Tsang and D. J. Binks, “Record performance from a Q-switched Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 laser,” Appl. Phys. B96(1), 11–17 (2009). [CrossRef]
  6. G. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, F. Laurell, and J. A. Tellefsen, “Q-switching of an Er-Yb:glass microchip laser using an acousto-optical modulator,” Opt. Commun.217(1-6), 317–324 (2003). [CrossRef]
  7. S. V. Gagarskiǐ, B. I. Galagan, B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, K. V. Prikhod’ko, and S. E. Sverchkov, “Diode-pumped ytterbium-erbium glass microlasers with optical Q-switching based on frustrated total internal reflection,” Quantum Electron.30(1), 10–12 (2000). [CrossRef]
  8. E. Georgiou, O. Musset, and J. Boquillon, “Free-running and Q-switched performance of a diode-pumped Er:Yb:YAG laser emitting at 1.65μm,” Proc. SPIE6190, 619009, 619009-9 (2006). [CrossRef]
  9. Y. H. Tsang, D. J. Binks, B. D. O. Richards, and A. Jha, “Spectroscopic and lasing studies of Ce3+:Er3+:Yb3+:YVO4 crystals,” Laser Phys. Lett.8(10), 729–735 (2011). [CrossRef]
  10. N. A. Tolstik, S. V. Kurilchik, V. E. Kisel, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, O. V. Pilipenko, E. V. Koporulina, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Efficient 1 W continuous-wave diode-pumped Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser,” Opt. Lett.32(22), 3233–3235 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Spectroscopic and laser properties of Er3+:Yb3+:LuAl3(BO3)4 crystal at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Express18(13), 13700–13707 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. Y. J. Li, J. X. Feng, P. Li, K. Sh. Zhang, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, and Y. D. Huang, “400 mW low noise continuous-wave single-frequency Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.55 μm,” Opt. Express21(5), 6082–6090 (2013). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. A. A. Lagatsky, V. E. Kisel, A. E. Troshin, N. A. Tolstik, N. V. Kuleshov, N. I. Leonyuk, A. E. Zhukov, E. U. Rafailov, and W. Sibbett, “Diode-pumped passively mode-locked Er,Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6 microm,” Opt. Lett.33(1), 83–85 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. V. E. Kisel, K. N. Gorbachenya, A. S. Yasukevich, A. M. Ivashko, N. V. Kuleshov, V. V. Maltsev, and N. I. Leonyuk, “Passively Q-switched microchip Er, Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 diode-pumped laser,” Opt. Lett.37(13), 2745–2747 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, Y. Q. Zou, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “Passively Q-switched 1.5-1.6 μm Er:Yb:LuAl3(BO3)4 laser with Co2+:Mg0.4Al2.4O4 saturable absorber,” Opt. Express20(9), 9940–9947 (2012). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, J. H. Huang, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1560 nm acousto-optic Q-switched and intracavity frequency doubling laser performances of Er:Yb:RAl3(BO3)4 (R=Y and Lu) crystals,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron.48(5), 616–621 (2012). [CrossRef]
  17. H. Y. Zhu, Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, C. H. Huang, Y. M. Duan, Y. Wei, Y. D. Huang, and G. Zhang, “Actively Q-switch operation of diode-pumped Er, Yb:YAl3(BO3)4 laser at 1.5-1.6μm,” Laser Phys. Lett.8(2), 111–115 (2011). [CrossRef]
  18. Y. J. Chen, Y. F. Lin, X. H. Gong, Z. D. Luo, and Y. D. Huang, “1.1 W diode-pumped Er:Yb laser at 1520 nm,” Opt. Lett.32(18), 2759–2761 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. N. K. Chen, C. M. Hung, S. Chi, and Y. Lai, “Towards the short-wavelength limit lasing at 1450 nm over 4I13/2→4I15/2 transition in silica-based erbium-doped fiber,” Opt. Express15(25), 16448–16456 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. D. J. Richardson, J. Nilsson, and W. A. Clarkson, “High power fiber lasers: current status and future perspectives,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B27(11), B63–B92 (2010). [CrossRef]
  21. J. W. Kim, D. Y. Shen, J. K. Sahu, and W. A. Clarkson, “Fiber-laser-pumped Er:YAG lasers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.15(2), 361–371 (2009). [CrossRef]
  22. H. Lara, “Navigating the features and limitations of laser power and energy meters,” Laser Focus World39, 137–141 (2003).
  23. J. J. Degnan, “Theory of the optimally coupled Q-switched laser,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron.25(2), 214–220 (1989). [CrossRef]

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