Abstract

The transient dynamics and the kinetics of switching between two stable states in Cr:LiSrGaF6 laser crystal, a material with thermally induced intrinsic optical bistability, have been studied. It has been shown that the characteristic switching time τswitch can be shorter than that determined by the heat transfer in a linear regime. In the quasi-steady-state regime, the rate of switching (τswitch-1) in the system studied is proportional to the square root of the area of the steady-state hysteresis loop. The switching time τswitch can be controlled by changing system parameters, such as the temperature of the heat sink, the heat sinking efficiency, the rate of the pumping power increase, etc. When the pumping power is continuously changed at the rate R, the increment in the switching rate Δτswitch-1 is proportional to R2/3.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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