Abstract

A slope efficiency of 40% from an Er3+:LiYF4 laser is demonstrated under pulsed Ti:sapphire pumping at 973 nm. With reduction of the pump-pulse duration a significant decrease of the slope efficiency and an increase of the threshold is observed in the experiment and confirmed with high accuracy in a computer simulation. This behavior is due to interionic upconversion from the lower laser level, which leads to energy recycling into the upper laser level. The upconversion rate is negative at threshold but increases strongly with rising pump-pulse energy, thus enhancing the slope efficiency. The conditions are derived that are necessary for achieving the high slope efficiency of the energy-recycling regime.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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