Abstract

The finite recovery time Ts of the bleached absorber is presented as one of the possible mechanisms accounting for the increase–maximum–decrease in pulse energy E with the pumping rate WP in cw-pumped passively Q-switched solid-state lasers, by analytically evaluating the sign of the derivative E/WP. The results show that, in the low pump regime (T>Ts, T is the interpulse period), the initial population density ni remains constant, the final population density nf decreases with WP, and this results in a monotonic increase of E with WP. In the high pump regime (T<Ts), ni decreases but nf remains the same with WP; this results in a monotonic decrease of E with WP. At the critical region (TTs), E reaches its maximum value. A cw-pumped Yb:YAG laser passively Q switched by a Cr4+:YAG absorber is demonstrated to confirm this model. The theoretical model is also applied to the analysis of three previously reported passive Q switching solid-state [Nd:GdVO4, Nd+:LaSc3(BO3)4(Nd+:LSB), and Nd:YAG] lasers experiments.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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