Abstract

We have constructed a blue laser source consisting of an amplified, grating tuned diode laser that is frequency doubled by a KNbO3 crystal in a compact standing wave cavity and produces as much as 200 mW of internal second-harmonic power. We have analyzed the unusual characteristics of this standing wave cavity to clarify the advantages and disadvantages of this configuration as an alternative to a ring cavity for second-harmonic generation. We emphasize its efficiency and stability and the fact that it has an inherent walk-off compensation, similar to twin crystal configurations. We demonstrate its utility for laser cooling and trapping of earth alkalis by stabilizing the laser to the 461-nm transition of strontium, using a heat pipe, and then forming a magneto-optic trap of strontium from a Zeeman-slowed atomic beam.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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