Results of diode-pumped cw laser operation of an Yb<sup>3+</sup>: CaF<sub>2</sub> single crystal are reported for what is to our knowledge the first time. With a 5-at.% Yb<sup>3+</sup> -doped sample we obtained 5.8-W output power at 1053 nm for 15 W of incident power at 980 nm. The laser wavelength could be tuned from 1018 to 1072 nm, and a small-signal gain as high as 1.8 was achieved, showing the great potential of Yb<sup>3+</sup>: CaF<sub>2</sub> as an amplifier medium for femtosecond pulses.
© 2004 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
A. Lucca, M. Jacquemet, F. Druon, F. Balembois, P. Georges, P. Camy, J. L. Doualan, and R. Moncorgé, "High-power tunable diode-pumped Yb3+:CaF2 laser," Opt. Lett. 29, 1879-1881 (2004)