Abstract

We performed an experimental investigation of thermal lensing in silver gallium selenide (AgGaSe2) optical parametric oscillator crystals pumped by a 2-μm laser at ambient temperature. We determined an empirical expression for the effective thermal focusing power in terms of the pump power, beam diameter, crystal length, and absorption coefficient. This relation may be used to estimate average power limitations in designing AgGaSe2 optical parametric oscillators. We also demonstrated an 18% slope efficiency from a 2-μm pumped AgGaSe2 optical parametric oscillator operated at 77 K, at which temperature thermal lensing is substantially reduced because of an increase in the thermal conductivity and a decrease in the thermal index gradient dn/dT. Cryogenic cooling may provide an additional option for scaling up the average power capability of a 2-μm pumped AgGaSe2 optical parametric oscillator.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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