Abstract

It is shown experimentally that a weak optical signal in a Nd:YAG amplifier can have an extraordinarily large gain that is due to transient coherent nonlinear interaction with a strong laser beam. The effect is explained by the diffraction of the strong beam on the dynamic refractive-index grating induced in the interference field of the interacting optical waves and caused by the difference of polarizability of the excited and the unexcited Nd3+ ions. The numerical calculation confirmed the energy transfer from the strong beam to the weak one owing to the predominance of diffraction efficiency of the refractive-index grating over the gain grating in an inverted laser crystal. The investigations give the estimation of the ratio of the real and the imaginary parts of the resonant susceptibility of Nd:YAG at 1064 nm in the range 2–3.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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