We report on continuous-wave and subnanosecond passively Q-switched laser oscillation from a NdAl3(BO3)_4 microchip laser operating at 1.06 µm. Efficient and stable laser operation is possible only when resonant pumping ^4I_9/2 --> ^4F_3/2 at 882 nm) is used instead of the traditional ^4I_9/2 --> ^4F_5/2 (808 nm) pumping. The improvement in laser performance is caused by a strong reduction in the pump-induced thermal loading, which is achieved by pumping directly into the emitting level.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(140.3380) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
Miguel Montes, Daniel Jaque, Luo Zundu, and Hunag Yidong, "Short-pulse generation from a resonantly pumped NdAl3(BO3)_4 microchip laser," Opt. Lett. 30, 397-399 (2005)