We demonstrate a small optical bench footprint laser assembly based on the small pulsed Nd:YAG laser head SSY-1 for pumping cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) lasers and illustrate its performance using low molecular weight CLC samples doped with the fluorescent dye PM597. A low lasing threshold, narrow laser line, and far-field interference patterns of the CLC laser were observed using the SSY-1-based laser assembly as the pump. The emission characteristics of the CLC laser are similar to those observed with comparable CLC materials pumped by an order of magnitude physically larger and many orders of magnitude more expensive commercial Nd:YAG laser systems. The small footprint CLC laser demonstrated in this work provides an opportunity for significant size and cost reduction of CLC lasers and fostering their practical applications.
© 2019 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
25 January 2019: Corrections were made to several sections throughout.
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