Abstract

An experimental optimization of the efficiency of a gain switched tunable Cr4+: YAG laser at 10Hz is described. The thermal lensing during pulsed operation was measured. Optimal performance occurred at a crystal temperature of 34°C and resulted in an output energy of 7mJ and a pulse duration of 35ns. Tunability in the range of 13501500nm, spectral linewidth of 200GHz, and M2<4 are demonstrated. The main laser material parameters are estimated. Such a laser could be employed in a laboratory-based nonscanning lidar system if a narrowband birefringent filter is installed. The tunability will permit the improvement of the Cr4+: YAG transmitter for water-vapor differential absorption lidar if injection seeding is applied.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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