Continuous laser operation is readily achieved from alexandrite when it is pumped by ac or de driven mercury lamps.1 In recent experiments output in excess of 50 W is obtained from a 10-cm×3-mm diam rod with both modes of excitation. Slope efficiencies of 2.5 % and overall efficiencies of 1 % have been observed when a single-lamp el­liptical enclosure is used. This performance is superior to that obtained with conventional de xenon arc lamps having arc diameters ~3X larger. The differences are probably due to the spectral power distribution in the lamp and the arc diameter. The output also depends on rod diameter and Cr3+concentration, and these influences will be briefly described.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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