Ti: sapphire lasers are used to convert frequency-doubled Nd: YAG laser energy at 532 nm into tunable near-infrared (NIR) laser energy from 700 to 1000 nm. Our experimental effort is directed at developing an efficient converter system using a Ti: sapphire laser as master oscillator followed by Ti: sapphire amplifiers, all pumped by 532-nm beams. This report concentrates on the operating characteristics of Ti: sapphire amplifiers since previous reports1,2 were made on Ti: sapphire oscillator performance. Several Ti: sapphire crystals for efficient laser operation were obtained from Union Carbide, but there is still a significant variation in the figure-of-merit (≈ α532800) of the material for laser performance. This variation arises from the fact that the origin of the passive loss in the laser bandwidth is still unknown. However, materials are improving and adequate crystals are available for laser demonstrations.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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