Abstract

A method for optical triggering of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser by direct bleaching of a Cr:YAG saturable absorber is described. This method involves the bleaching of a thin sheet of the saturable absorber from a direction orthogonal to the lasing axis using a single laser diode bar, where the Cr:YAG transmission increased from a non-bleached value of 47% to a bleached value of 63%. For steady state operation of a passively Q-switched laser (PRF=10Hz), the pulse-to-pulse timing jitter showed ~12X reduction in standard deviation, from 241 nsec for free running operation to 20 nsec with optical triggering.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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  1. L. Goldberg, J. Nettleton, B. Schilling, W. Trussell, and A. Hays, "Compact laser sources for laser designating, ranging and active imaging," Proc. SPIE 6552, 65520G1-65520G8.
  2. W. J. Mandeville, K. M. Dinndorf, and N. E. Champigny, "Characterization of passively Q-switched microchip lasers for laser radar," Proc. SPIE 2748, 358-366 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  3. J. B. Khurgin, F. Jin, G. Solyar, C. Wang, and S. Trivedi, "Timing jitter reduction in diode pumped passively Q-switched laser with composite pumping pulses," in Conference on Lasers and Electo-Optics, Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2001), paper CThV6.
  4. S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  5. H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  6. A. G. Okhrimchuk and A. V. Shestakov, "Performance of YAG:Cr4+ laser crystal," Opt. Mater. 3, 1-13 (1994).
    [CrossRef]
  7. A. Brignon, "Anisotropic properties of pulsed four-wave mixing in Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 13, 2154-2163 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  8. N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  9. S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
    [CrossRef]

1999

S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1997

N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
[CrossRef]

S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1996

A. Brignon, "Anisotropic properties of pulsed four-wave mixing in Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 13, 2154-2163 (1996).
[CrossRef]

W. J. Mandeville, K. M. Dinndorf, and N. E. Champigny, "Characterization of passively Q-switched microchip lasers for laser radar," Proc. SPIE 2748, 358-366 (1996).
[CrossRef]

1994

A. G. Okhrimchuk and A. V. Shestakov, "Performance of YAG:Cr4+ laser crystal," Opt. Mater. 3, 1-13 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1992

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Brignon, A.

Camacho-Lopez, S.

S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Champigny, N. E.

W. J. Mandeville, K. M. Dinndorf, and N. E. Champigny, "Characterization of passively Q-switched microchip lasers for laser radar," Proc. SPIE 2748, 358-366 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Crofts, G. J.

S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Damzen, M. J.

S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Dennis, W. M.

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Dinndorf, K. M.

W. J. Mandeville, K. M. Dinndorf, and N. E. Champigny, "Characterization of passively Q-switched microchip lasers for laser radar," Proc. SPIE 2748, 358-366 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Eilers, H.

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Green, R. P. M.

S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Gulyamova, E. S.

N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Hoffman, K. R.

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Huang, S. L.

S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Il’ichev, N. N.

N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Jacobsen, S. M

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Kao, F. J.

S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Kir’yanov, A. V.

N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Mandeville, W. J.

W. J. Mandeville, K. M. Dinndorf, and N. E. Champigny, "Characterization of passively Q-switched microchip lasers for laser radar," Proc. SPIE 2748, 358-366 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Okhrimchuk, A. G.

A. G. Okhrimchuk and A. V. Shestakov, "Performance of YAG:Cr4+ laser crystal," Opt. Mater. 3, 1-13 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Pashinin, P. P.

N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Shestakov, A. V.

A. G. Okhrimchuk and A. V. Shestakov, "Performance of YAG:Cr4+ laser crystal," Opt. Mater. 3, 1-13 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Tsui, T. Y.

S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Wang, C. H.

S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Yen, W. M.

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett.

H. Eilers, K. R. Hoffman, W. M. Dennis, S. M Jacobsen, and W. M. Yen, "Saturation of 1.064 µm absorption in Cr,Ca:Y3Al5O12 crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 2958-2960 (1992).
[CrossRef]

J. Mod. Opt.

S. Camacho-Lopez, R. P. M. Green, G. J. Crofts, and M. J. Damzen, "Intensity-induced birefringence in Cr4+:YAG," J. Mod. Opt. 44, 209-219 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B

Jpn. J. Appl. Phys.

S. L. Huang, T. Y. Tsui, C. H. Wang, and F. J. Kao, "Timing jitter reduction of a passively Q-switched laser," Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 38, L239-L241 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Mater.

A. G. Okhrimchuk and A. V. Shestakov, "Performance of YAG:Cr4+ laser crystal," Opt. Mater. 3, 1-13 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Proc. SPIE

W. J. Mandeville, K. M. Dinndorf, and N. E. Champigny, "Characterization of passively Q-switched microchip lasers for laser radar," Proc. SPIE 2748, 358-366 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Quantum Electron.

N. N. Il’ichev, A. V. Kir’yanov, E. S. Gulyamova, and P. P. Pashinin, "Influence of the nonlinear anisotropy of absorption in a passive Cr4+:YAG switch on the energy and polarization characteristics of a neodymium laser," Quantum Electron. 27, 298-301 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Other

J. B. Khurgin, F. Jin, G. Solyar, C. Wang, and S. Trivedi, "Timing jitter reduction in diode pumped passively Q-switched laser with composite pumping pulses," in Conference on Lasers and Electo-Optics, Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2001), paper CThV6.

L. Goldberg, J. Nettleton, B. Schilling, W. Trussell, and A. Hays, "Compact laser sources for laser designating, ranging and active imaging," Proc. SPIE 6552, 65520G1-65520G8.

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Concept of optical triggering to reduce pulse to pulse timing jitter.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Experimental set-up for determining bleaching characteristics of Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Nd:YAG laser cavity used for evaluation of the optical triggering effect.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Polarization dependence for the bleaching of a Cr:YAG saturable absorber. (a) illustrates the nature of the intersecting beams for polarization of the bleaching pulse along [001] and (b) Cr:YAG transmission as a function of rotation of the probe beam polarization. A 90° rotation of the bleaching pulse polarization (c) results in a minimum bleaching (d), regardless of probe polarization.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Q-switch arrival time (a) and count histogram (b) for the passively Q-switched laser and for operation with optical triggering.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Comparison of timing jitter for the free running laser and for optical triggering

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Count histogram of pulse-to-pulse timing jitter with 10nsec bins for (a) normal Q-switch operation and (b) case for direct optical bleaching of the saturable absorber.

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