Selectively pumping rare earth doped solid state lasers in pump bands only slightly higher in energy than the lasing metastable state is desirable because there is less pump energy converted to heat than there is in broadband pumping throughout the pump bands in the visible spectral region. This increases the efficiency of laser operation and decreases problems arising from thermal lensing. Diode laser pumping is one method of achieving this selective pumping and this has the additional advantages of an all solid state system. However, the powers and wavelengths presently available from diode laser pump sources are limited. Pumping with another solid state laser such as an alexandrite laser can be used to simulate diode laser pumping. In addition, for some high power laser applications an alexandrite laser may be the ideal pump source for a rare earth doped solid state laser. No comprehensive studies have been reported on the differences in the pumping dynamics between broadband and monochromatic pumping. Initial results of such an investigation are reported here.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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