Abstract

Passive Q switching is a preferable choice for switching the Q factor of a solar-pumped laser because it requires neither a driver nor an electrical power supply. The superior thermal characteristics and durability of Cr4+:YAG single crystals as passive Q switches for lamp and diode-pumped high-power lasers has been demonstrated. Here we report on an average power of 37 W and a switching efficiency of 80% obtained by use of a solar-pumped Nd:YAG laser Q switched by a Cr4+:YAG saturable absorber. Concentration of the pumping solar energy on the laser crystal was obtained with a three-stage concentrator, composed of 12 heliostats, a three-dimensional compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) and a two-dimensional CPC. The water-cooled passive Q switch also served as the laser rear mirror. Repetition rates of as much as 50 kHz, at pulse durations between 190 and 310 ns (FWHM) were achieved. From the experimental results, the saturated single-pass power absorption of the Cr4+:YAG device was estimated as 3 ± 1%.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  2. I. Pe’er, N. Naftali, A. Yogev, “High power, solar pumped, laser amplifier for free space laser communication,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 194–204 (1997).
  3. R. B. Hall, “Lasers in industrial chemical synthesis,” Laser Focus57–62 (September1992).
  4. U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).
  5. M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).
  6. N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, “Power transmission using solar pumped laser,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 259–265 (1997).
  7. Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  8. T. Dascalu, H. Weber, G. Phillipps, “High average power Nd:YAG laser with Cr4+:YAG passive Q-switch,” in XI international Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, D. R. Hall, H. J. Baker, eds., Proc. SPIE3092, 52–55 (1997).
  9. Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  10. S. Pearl, Y. Achiam, Y. Kalisky, Y. Shimony, “Repetitive Q-switching and chaotic behavior of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+ doped garnet saturable absorbers,” presented at the International Conference on Quantum Optics and Laser Physics (ICQOLP), Hong Kong, January 1997.
  11. A. Findlay, R. A. Clay, “The measurement of internal losses in 4-level lasers,” Phys. Lett. 20, 277–278 (1966).
    [CrossRef]
  12. W. Koechner, Solid State Laser Engineering, 4th ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1996), Chaps. 3, 2, and 10.
    [CrossRef]

1996 (1)

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1992 (3)

G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
[CrossRef]

R. B. Hall, “Lasers in industrial chemical synthesis,” Laser Focus57–62 (September1992).

M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).

1991 (1)

U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).

1966 (1)

A. Findlay, R. A. Clay, “The measurement of internal losses in 4-level lasers,” Phys. Lett. 20, 277–278 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Achiam, Y.

S. Pearl, Y. Achiam, Y. Kalisky, Y. Shimony, “Repetitive Q-switching and chaotic behavior of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+ doped garnet saturable absorbers,” presented at the International Conference on Quantum Optics and Laser Physics (ICQOLP), Hong Kong, January 1997.

Ben-Amar Baranga, A.

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Brauch, U.

U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).

Burshtein, Z.

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Cabaret, L.

M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).

Clay, R. A.

A. Findlay, R. A. Clay, “The measurement of internal losses in 4-level lasers,” Phys. Lett. 20, 277–278 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Dascalu, T.

T. Dascalu, H. Weber, G. Phillipps, “High average power Nd:YAG laser with Cr4+:YAG passive Q-switch,” in XI international Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, D. R. Hall, H. J. Baker, eds., Proc. SPIE3092, 52–55 (1997).

de Miscault, J. C.

M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).

Duchet, M.

M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).

Findlay, A.

A. Findlay, R. A. Clay, “The measurement of internal losses in 4-level lasers,” Phys. Lett. 20, 277–278 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Hall, R. B.

R. B. Hall, “Lasers in industrial chemical synthesis,” Laser Focus57–62 (September1992).

Kalisky, Y.

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

S. Pearl, Y. Achiam, Y. Kalisky, Y. Shimony, “Repetitive Q-switching and chaotic behavior of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+ doped garnet saturable absorbers,” presented at the International Conference on Quantum Optics and Laser Physics (ICQOLP), Hong Kong, January 1997.

Koechner, W.

W. Koechner, Solid State Laser Engineering, 4th ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1996), Chaps. 3, 2, and 10.
[CrossRef]

Krupkin, V.

G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Lando, M.

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Laurens, A.

M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).

Muckenschnabel, J.

U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).

Naftali, N.

N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, “Power transmission using solar pumped laser,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 259–265 (1997).

I. Pe’er, N. Naftali, A. Yogev, “High power, solar pumped, laser amplifier for free space laser communication,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 194–204 (1997).

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Noter, Y.

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Opower, H.

U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).

Oron, M.

G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Pe’er, I.

I. Pe’er, N. Naftali, A. Yogev, “High power, solar pumped, laser amplifier for free space laser communication,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 194–204 (1997).

N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, “Power transmission using solar pumped laser,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 259–265 (1997).

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Pearl, S.

S. Pearl, Y. Achiam, Y. Kalisky, Y. Shimony, “Repetitive Q-switching and chaotic behavior of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+ doped garnet saturable absorbers,” presented at the International Conference on Quantum Optics and Laser Physics (ICQOLP), Hong Kong, January 1997.

Phillipps, G.

T. Dascalu, H. Weber, G. Phillipps, “High average power Nd:YAG laser with Cr4+:YAG passive Q-switch,” in XI international Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, D. R. Hall, H. J. Baker, eds., Proc. SPIE3092, 52–55 (1997).

Shimony, Y.

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

S. Pearl, Y. Achiam, Y. Kalisky, Y. Shimony, “Repetitive Q-switching and chaotic behavior of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+ doped garnet saturable absorbers,” presented at the International Conference on Quantum Optics and Laser Physics (ICQOLP), Hong Kong, January 1997.

Strauss, M.

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Thompson, G. A.

G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Weber, H.

T. Dascalu, H. Weber, G. Phillipps, “High average power Nd:YAG laser with Cr4+:YAG passive Q-switch,” in XI international Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, D. R. Hall, H. J. Baker, eds., Proc. SPIE3092, 52–55 (1997).

Wittner, W.

U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).

Yogev, A.

G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
[CrossRef]

I. Pe’er, N. Naftali, A. Yogev, “High power, solar pumped, laser amplifier for free space laser communication,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 194–204 (1997).

N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, “Power transmission using solar pumped laser,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 259–265 (1997).

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

Y. Shimony, Z. Burshtein, A. Ben-Amar Baranga, Y. Kalisky, M. Strauss, “Repetitive Q-switching of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 32, 305–310 (1996); A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, C. Morello, G. Piccinno, G. C. Reali, Z. Sun, “Diode pumped neodymium lasers repetitively Q-switched by Cr4+:YAG solid state saturable absorbers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 3, 45–52 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Laser Focus (1)

R. B. Hall, “Lasers in industrial chemical synthesis,” Laser Focus57–62 (September1992).

Opt. Eng. (1)

G. A. Thompson, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, M. Oron, “Solar pumped Nd:Cr:GSGG parallel array laser,” Opt. Eng. 31, 2644–2646 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Lett. (1)

A. Findlay, R. A. Clay, “The measurement of internal losses in 4-level lasers,” Phys. Lett. 20, 277–278 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Space Power (2)

U. Brauch, J. Muckenschnabel, H. Opower, W. Wittner, “Solar pumped solid state lasers for space to space power transmission,” Space Power 10, 285–294 (1991).

M. Duchet, L. Cabaret, A. Laurens, J. C. de Miscault, “Space power supply networks using laser beams,” Space Power 11, 241–250 (1992).

Other (6)

N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, “Power transmission using solar pumped laser,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 259–265 (1997).

T. Dascalu, H. Weber, G. Phillipps, “High average power Nd:YAG laser with Cr4+:YAG passive Q-switch,” in XI international Symposium on Gas Flow and Chemical Lasers and High-Power Laser Conference, D. R. Hall, H. J. Baker, eds., Proc. SPIE3092, 52–55 (1997).

Y. Noter, N. Naftali, I. Pe’er, A. Yogev, M. Lando, Y. Shimony, “Performance of passive Q-switched, solar-pumped, high-power Nd:YAG lasers,” in 10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel, I. Shladov, S. R. Rotman, eds., Proc. SPIE3110, 189–195 (1997); M. Lando, Y. Shimony, R. M. J. Benmair, D. Abramovich, V. Krupkin, A. Yogev, “Visible solar pumped lasers,” Opt. Mater. 13, 111–115 (1999).
[CrossRef]

S. Pearl, Y. Achiam, Y. Kalisky, Y. Shimony, “Repetitive Q-switching and chaotic behavior of a cw Nd:YAG laser using Cr4+ doped garnet saturable absorbers,” presented at the International Conference on Quantum Optics and Laser Physics (ICQOLP), Hong Kong, January 1997.

W. Koechner, Solid State Laser Engineering, 4th ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1996), Chaps. 3, 2, and 10.
[CrossRef]

I. Pe’er, N. Naftali, A. Yogev, “High power, solar pumped, laser amplifier for free space laser communication,” in Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV, R. Winston, ed., Proc. SPIE3139, 194–204 (1997).

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Laser resonator and the 2-D CPC.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Schematic of the Q-switch assembly.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Laser power as a function of the absorbed solar power for 85% output mirror reflectivity. The triangles and the crosses represent Q-switched and cw operation, respectively.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Log of the output mirror reflectivity as a function of threshold absorbed power.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Reciprocal efficiency as a function of reciprocal output mirror transmission.

Equations (3)

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-ln R=-L+2KPth,
σ=ηuηBT/T+L,
Topt=2golL1/2-1L,

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