Abstract

Cr3+ doped colquiriites are promising solid-state gain media for developing inexpensive and highly efficient tunable continuous-wave (cw) and femtosecond lasers. Among Cr3+ doped colquiriites, Cr3+:LiCAF has superior thermal properties enabling high-power operation with standard laser cavities. In this study we present detailed laser experiments with Cr3+:LiCAF, which achieve laser performance approaching that of the much more expensive Ti:sapphire laser technology. Inexpensive, new, multimode (1.5W) and single-mode (150mW) diode lasers were used as pump sources. With multimode diode pumping, cw output powers exceeding 1W and mode-locked pulse energies as high as 2.8nJ were obtained. Using single-mode diode pumping, up to 280mW of cw output power with 54% slope efficiency and continuous tuning between 765 and 865nm were demonstrated. In cw mode-locking, 72fs, 1.4nJ pulses were obtained, and an electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency of 7.8% was demonstrated.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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