Abstract

We describe a systematic, rigorous procedure for the determination of the optical absorption saturation parameters for Cr4+:YAG and Cr4+:forsterite crystals at 1064nm. A rate-equation approach was used to analyze the cw and pulsed transmission data of several crystals by accounting for the transverse as well as longitudinal variation of the beam intensity, saturation effects, and excited-state absorption. Use of an iterative procedure whereby the cw and pulsed data were simultaneously analyzed led to a considerable reduction in the error for the determination of cross sections. The average value of the absorption cross section σa and the normalized excited-state absorption cross section fp=σesaσa were determined to be 6.13×1019cm2 and 0.45, respectively, for Cr4+:forsterite and 19.6×1019cm2 and 0.06, respectively, for Cr4+:YAG. Detailed comparison was also made with previous saturation measurements in the literature. Our results further show that lumped models based on the thin-length approximation should be used with caution in the determination of cross sections, especially when the pump beam is tightly focused inside the absorber.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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