Abstract

Experimental slope efficiencies of 72% to 76% are achieved for a pulsed Rb-methane optically pumped alkali metal vapor laser with pump intensities up to 120kW/cm2. Measurements characterizing the temporal dynamics, spectral width, beam diameter, and M2 values of the 795nm laser beam are presented. M2 values indicate that the 795nm laser beam is 10 to 20 times diffraction limited. The laser system’s response to changes in the pump’s spectral width, the Rb number density, relaxant concentration, and pump intensity are examined with a broadband time-dependent one-dimensional rate equation model. The experimental data and the modeling results are shown to be in good agreement for a wide range of experimental conditions.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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