Abstract

An important class of tunable lasers is the color-center laser which has been developed commercially in alkali halide materials to provide widely tunable radiation in the near infrared region from 0.8 to 3.2 μm. These lasers exhibit a number of outstanding properties such as low threshold, high efficiency (~50%) and excellent frequency and mode stability. However, they suffer disadvantages of short shelf-life, low- power optical bleaching of the laser centers, and cryogenic temperature operation. The development of a color-center laser as a practical field device has not been possible because of the need for cryogenic cooling to stabilize the color center under the effects of optical pumping. In addition, the blue-green spectral region of interest in many applications cannot be covered by F-aggregate centers for which the emission wavelengths are invariably longer than 650 nm. We report on research directed towards the goal of a color-center solid-state laser which can operate with high efficiency at room temperature.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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