Abstract

Historically, an optically pumped alkali (potassium) vapor laser was the first laser proposed by A.L. Schawlow and C.H. Townes in 1958 [1], but was not experimentally demonstrated at that time. In the next 45 years, many experiments with alkali vapors were performed that demonstrated stimulated emission, gain and amplified spontaneous emission. However, the real interest to alkali vapor lasers appeared after the first demonstration in 2003 [2] of a really efficient lasing in Rb vapor optically pumped by Ti:Sapphire laser. This interest was stimulated by a possibility of using efficient diode lasers for pumping of alkali vapors that promised a very high total wall plug efficiency Diode Pumped Alkali Laser (DPAL). In addition, these lasers have a number of positive features as compared to other high power lasers (chemical, solid state, fiber lasers) and do not have many problems existing in other high power laser systems.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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References

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