Abstract

A four-level, plane wave model is proposed for a resonantly pumped 1.6μm Er3+ laser, including the effect of upconversion. A mean population approximation leads to analytical expressions for the threshold and slope efficiency that are highly accurate compared to the numerical solution. Using the beam area as an adjustable parameter, the threshold and slope efficiency agree well with data obtained using a 1% Er:YAG crystal, pumped at 1470nm, lasing at 1617nm, in the range 0100°C. According to the model for this laser, the slope efficiency versus absorbed pump power is unaffected by upconversion, but the threshold is increased by a factor of 2–3. The results are important for choosing the optimum doping level and fiber or rod length.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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