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Materials 2018, 11(9), 1689; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11091689

Passive Q-Switching by Cr4+:YAG Saturable Absorber of Buried Depressed-Cladding Waveguides Obtained in Nd-Doped Media by Femtosecond Laser Beam Writing

Laboratory of Solid-State Quantum Electronics, National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 077125 Magurele, Ilfov, Romania
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Received: 18 August 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lanthanide-Based Multifunctional Materials)
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Abstract

We report on laser performances obtained in Q-switch mode operation from buried depressed-cladding waveguides of circular shape (100 μm diameter) that were inscribed in Nd:YAG and Nd:YVO4 media by direct writing with a femtosecond laser beam. The Q-switch operation was realized with a Cr4+:YAG saturable absorber, aiming to obtain laser pulses of moderate (few μJ) energy at high (tens to hundreds kHz) repetition rate. An average power of 0.52 W at 1.06 μm consisting of a train of pulses of 7.79 μJ energy at 67 kHz repetition rate, was obtained from a waveguide realized in a 4.8 mm long, 1.1-at % Nd:YAG ceramics; the pulse peak power reached 1.95 kW. A similar waveguide that was inscribed in a 3.4 mm long, 1.0-at % Nd:YVO4 crystal yielded laser pulses with 9.4 μJ energy at 83 kHz repetition rate (at 0.77 W average power) and 1.36 kW peak power. The laser performances obtained in continuous-wave operation were discussed for each waveguide used in the experiments. Thus, a continuous-wave output power of 1.45 W was obtained from the circular buried depressed-cladding waveguide inscribed in the 1.1-at %, 4.8 mm long Nd:YAG; the overall optical-to-optical efficiency, with respect to the absorbed pump power, was 0.21. The waveguide inscribed in the 1.0-at %, 3.4 mm long Nd:YVO4 crystal yielded 1.85 W power at 0.26 overall optical efficiency. This work shows the possibility to build compact laser systems with average-to-high peak power pulses based on waveguides realized by a femtosecond (fs) laser beam direct writing technique and that are pumped by a fiber-coupled diode laser. View Full-Text
Keywords: lasers; solid-state; neodymium; Q-switched; waveguides; channeled; micro-optical devices lasers; solid-state; neodymium; Q-switched; waveguides; channeled; micro-optical devices
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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(Salamu), G.C.; Pavel, N. Passive Q-Switching by Cr4+:YAG Saturable Absorber of Buried Depressed-Cladding Waveguides Obtained in Nd-Doped Media by Femtosecond Laser Beam Writing. Materials 2018, 11, 1689.

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