Impressive performance has been demonstrated recently in diode-pumped Nd3+ lasers; however, there are a number of problems, such as narrow absorption bandwidth, thermal loading, and limited energy storage, that make it difficult for these lasers to achieve higher powers and efficiencies. InGaAs diode-pumped Yb3+ lasers offer a number of advantages over to Nd3+ lasers, including large absorption bandwidth in some hosts, lower heating per unit pump power, and longer upper state lifetime. Here, we report on an InGaAs diode- pumped Yb:YAG laser that is to our knowledge the first room-temperature Yb3+ laser in a bulk gain medium. Yb3+ lasers are quasi-three-level lasers at room temperature, and previous results had mostly been obtained at low temperatures. An LED-pumped Yb:YAG laser was demonstrated at 77 K,1 and lamp-pumped operation was obtained at temperatures up to 210 K.2 Yb-doped single-mode glass fiber lasers have recently been demonstrated at room temperature.3·4

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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