Abstract

This paper analyzes the prospects of creating high-efficiency, low-frequency (100–1000 Hz) holmium lasers as the pumping source of a parametric radiation converter in the 6–8-μm spectral region for precision surgery. It provides a basis for choosing the optical design of a Ho:YLF-laser prototype with the required radiation parameters: energy per pulse up to 80 mJ at a frequency of 100 Hz and 50 mJ at 1000 Hz, pulse width about 20 ns, and M2≈1.5. The experimental study of the dependence of the absorption and weak-signal gain within wide limits of the pump intensity at various Ho3+ concentrations made it possible to estimate how much the processes of ground-state depletion and reabsorption of Ho crystals contribute to the lasing parameters. Pulsed-periodic Ho:YLF lasers were modeled with intense pumping, for which the inversion varies along the active medium during lasing because of saturation of the pumping, as well as because of periodic population inversion of the lower laser level. Optimization is carried out, taking into account the limitation on the radiation strength of the Ho crystals.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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