Abstract

Efficient and power-scalable laser operation of a vibronic Tm3+:KLu(WO4)2 microchip laser at 2.13  μm is demonstrated. In the continuous-wave mode under diode pumping at 805  nm, this laser generated 1.17 W at 2109–2133 nm with a slope efficiency of 39%. This emission is related to the coupling of the electronic transitions of Tm3+ ions with the stretching vibrations of the WOW oxygen bonds in the monoclinic KLu(WO4)2 crystal host appearing at 379, 406, and 450  cm1. The achieved emission wavelength is longer, to our knowledge, than any previously reported laser based on Tm3+ or Ho3+ doped double tungstate crystals. Passive Q-switching of the vibronic Tm3+:KLu(WO4)2 laser is realized with a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) based saturable absorber, representing the longest wavelength in this mode of operation. In this regime, the maximum output power reached 0.70 W at 2131 nm, corresponding to a slope efficiency of 29%. The pulse characteristics were 25 ns/1.1 μJ at the pulse repetition frequency of 0.62 MHz. These are, we believe, the shortest pulses ever achieved in any lanthanide-based laser passively Q-switched by carbon nanostructures. A conventional (purely electronic transition) Tm3+:KLu(WO4)2 microchip laser at 1.92 μm Q-switched by the same SWCNTs generated 40 ns/4.0 μJ pulses corresponding to a peak power of 0.1 kW, which is a record value for this type of laser oscillator, to our knowledge.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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