Abstract

A comparison of Tm,Ho:YLF; Tm,Ho:LuLF; and Tm,Ho:LuAG crystals under identical experimental conditions showed that Tm,Ho:LuLF yielded significantly better performance. The thermal expansion coefficients were measured. These crystals were experimentally characterized in the spectral region of 680 nm and 780 nm accessible to laser diodes. The effective energy storage lifetimes of the Ho 5I7 manifold at room temperature were measured experimentally. At 10 Hz and 273 K, free-running laser output energy in excess of 17 mJ was obtained in Tm,Ho:YLF compared with 30 mJ in Tm,Ho:LuLF and 24.4 mJ in Tm,Ho:LuAG. The slope efficiencies with respect to the incident pump energy were 7.4%, 12.9%, and 11.6%, respectively. The temperature dependence of the output energies of these lasers was investigated.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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