Abstract

We present an all-solid-state laser source emitting up to 2.1 W of single-frequency light at 671 nm developed for laser cooling of lithium atoms. It is based on a diode-pumped, neodymium-doped orthovanadate (Nd:YVO4) ring laser operating at 1342 nm. Optimization of the thermal management in the gain medium results in a maximum multi-frequency output power of 2.5 W at the fundamental wavelength. We develop a simple theory for the efficient implementation of intracavity second harmonic generation, and its application to our system allows us to obtain nonlinear conversion efficiencies of up to 88%. Single-mode operation and tuning is established by adding an etalon to the resonator. The second-harmonic wavelength can be tuned over 0.5 nm, and mode-hop-free scanning over more than 6 GHz is demonstrated, corresponding to around ten times the laser cavity free spectral range. The output frequency can be locked with respect to the lithium D-line transitions for atomic physics applications. Furthermore, we observe parametric Kerr-lens mode-locking when detuning the phase-matching temperature sufficiently far from the optimum value.

© 2013 OSA

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2012 (2)

U. Eismann, F. Gerbier, C. Canalias, A. Zukauskas, G. Trénec, J. Vigué, F. Chevy, and C. Salomon, “An all-solid-state laser source at 671 nm for cold-atom experiments with lithium,” Appl. Phys. B106, 25–36 (2012).
[CrossRef]

D. Fernandes, F. Sievers, N. Kretzschmar, S. Wu, C. Salomon, and F. Chevy, “Sub-doppler laser cooling of fermionic 40K atoms in three-dimensional gray optical molasses,” Europhys. Lett.100, 63001 (2012).
[CrossRef]

2011 (3)

2010 (3)

J. Zondy, F. Camargo, T. Zanon, V. Petrov, and N. Wetter, “Observation of strong cascaded Kerr-lens dynamics in an optimally-coupled cw intracavity frequency-doubled Nd:YLF ring laser,” Opt. Express18, 4796–4815 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
[CrossRef]

C. Chin, R. Grimm, P. Julienne, and E. Tiesinga, “Feshbach resonances in ultracold gases,” Rev. Mod. Phys.82, 1225–1286 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (2)

F. Lenhardt, M. Nittmann, T. Bauer, J. Bartschke, and J. L’huillier, “High-power 888-nm-pumped Nd:YVO4 1342-nm oscillator operating in the TEM00 mode,” Appl. Phys. B96, 803–807 (2009).
[CrossRef]

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008 (2)

S. Giorgini, L. P. Pitaevskii, and S. Stringari, “Theory of ultracold atomic Fermi gases,” Rev. Mod. Phys.80, 1215–1274 (2008).
[CrossRef]

H. Müller, S.-w. Chiow, Q. Long, S. Herrmann, and S. Chu, “Atom interferometry with up to 24-photon-momentum-transfer beam splitters,” Phys. Rev. Lett.100, 180405 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2006 (2)

A. Miffre, M. Jacquey, M. Büchner, G. Trénec, and J. Vigué, “Atom interferometry measurement of the electric polarizability of lithium,” Eur. Phys. J. D38, 353–365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

L. McDonagh, R. Wallenstein, R. Knappe, and A. Nebel, “High-efficiency 60 W TEM00 Nd:YVO4 oscillator pumped at 888 nm,” Opt. Lett.31, 3297–3299 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2005 (2)

2004 (1)

E. Khazanov, N. Andreev, A. Mal’shakov, O. Palashov, A. Poteomkin, A. Sergeev, A. Shaykin, V. Zelenogorsky, I. Ivanov, R. Amin, G. Mueller, D.B. Tanner, and D.H. Reitze, “Compensation of thermally induced modal distortions in Faraday isolators,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.40, 1500–1510 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2003 (1)

2002 (1)

2001 (1)

M. Peltz, U. Bäder, A. Borsutzky, R. Wallenstein, J. Hellström, H. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, and F. Laurell, “Optical parametric oscillators for high pulse energy and high average power operation based on large aperture periodically poled KTP and RTA,” Appl. Phys. B73, 663–670 (2001).
[CrossRef]

1999 (1)

K. Fradkin, A. Arie, A. Skliar, and G. Rosenman, “Tunable midinfrared source by difference frequency generation in bulk periodically poled KTiOPO4,” Appl. Phys. Lett.74, 914–916 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1997 (2)

K. I. Martin, W. A. Clarkson, and D. C. Hanna, “Self-suppression of axial mode hopping by intracavity second-harmonic generation,” Opt. Lett.22, 375–377 (1997).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. F. Chen, T. M. Huang, C. F. Kao, C. L. Wang, and S. C. Wang, “Optimization in scaling fiber-coupled laser-diode end-pumped lasers to higher power: influence of thermal effect,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.33, 1424–1429 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1994 (2)

1992 (1)

1991 (1)

P. Laporta and M. Brussard, “Design criteria for mode size optimization in diode-pumped solid-state lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.27, 2319–2326 (1991).
[CrossRef]

1975 (1)

W. Leeb, “Losses introduced by tilting intracavity etalons,” Appl. Phys. A6, 267–272 (1975).

1970 (1)

R. Smith, “Theory of intracavity optical second-harmonic generation,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.6, 215–223 (1970).
[CrossRef]

1968 (2)

G. D. Boyd and D. A. Kleinman, “Parametric interaction of focused gaussian light beams,” J. Appl. Phys.39, 3597–3639 (1968).
[CrossRef]

R. Polloni and O. Svelto, “Optimum coupling for intracavity second harmonic generation,” Quantum Electronics, IEEE J. Quantum Elect.4, 528–530 (1968).
[CrossRef]

1963 (1)

W. Rigrod, “Gain saturation and output power of optical masers,” J. Appl. Phys.34, 2602–2609 (1963).
[CrossRef]

Amin, R.

E. Khazanov, N. Andreev, A. Mal’shakov, O. Palashov, A. Poteomkin, A. Sergeev, A. Shaykin, V. Zelenogorsky, I. Ivanov, R. Amin, G. Mueller, D.B. Tanner, and D.H. Reitze, “Compensation of thermally induced modal distortions in Faraday isolators,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.40, 1500–1510 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Andreev, N.

E. Khazanov, N. Andreev, A. Mal’shakov, O. Palashov, A. Poteomkin, A. Sergeev, A. Shaykin, V. Zelenogorsky, I. Ivanov, R. Amin, G. Mueller, D.B. Tanner, and D.H. Reitze, “Compensation of thermally induced modal distortions in Faraday isolators,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.40, 1500–1510 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Arie, A.

S. Emanueli and A. Arie, “Temperature-dependent dispersion equations for KTiOPO4 and KTiOAsO4,” Appl. Opt.42, 6661–6665 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. Fradkin, A. Arie, A. Skliar, and G. Rosenman, “Tunable midinfrared source by difference frequency generation in bulk periodically poled KTiOPO4,” Appl. Phys. Lett.74, 914–916 (1999).
[CrossRef]

Auwera, J. V.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bäder, U.

M. Peltz, U. Bäder, A. Borsutzky, R. Wallenstein, J. Hellström, H. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, and F. Laurell, “Optical parametric oscillators for high pulse energy and high average power operation based on large aperture periodically poled KTP and RTA,” Appl. Phys. B73, 663–670 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Badr, T.

F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Barbe, A.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bartschke, J.

F. Lenhardt, M. Nittmann, T. Bauer, J. Bartschke, and J. L’huillier, “High-power 888-nm-pumped Nd:YVO4 1342-nm oscillator operating in the TEM00 mode,” Appl. Phys. B96, 803–807 (2009).
[CrossRef]

F. Lenhardt, A. Nebel, R. Knappe, M. Nittmann, J. Bartschke, and J. A. L’huillier, “Efficient single-pass second harmonic generation of a continuous wave Nd:YVO4- laser at 1342 nm using MgO:ppLN,” CLEO2010, CThEE5.

Bauer, T.

F. Lenhardt, M. Nittmann, T. Bauer, J. Bartschke, and J. L’huillier, “High-power 888-nm-pumped Nd:YVO4 1342-nm oscillator operating in the TEM00 mode,” Appl. Phys. B96, 803–807 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Beach, R. J.

Benner, D.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bernath, P.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Birk, M.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Borsutzky, A.

M. Peltz, U. Bäder, A. Borsutzky, R. Wallenstein, J. Hellström, H. Karlsson, V. Pasiskevicius, and F. Laurell, “Optical parametric oscillators for high pulse energy and high average power operation based on large aperture periodically poled KTP and RTA,” Appl. Phys. B73, 663–670 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Boudon, V.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Boyd, G. D.

G. D. Boyd and D. A. Kleinman, “Parametric interaction of focused gaussian light beams,” J. Appl. Phys.39, 3597–3639 (1968).
[CrossRef]

Brown, L.

L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Brussard, M.

P. Laporta and M. Brussard, “Design criteria for mode size optimization in diode-pumped solid-state lasers,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.27, 2319–2326 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Büchner, M.

A. Miffre, M. Jacquey, M. Büchner, G. Trénec, and J. Vigué, “Atom interferometry measurement of the electric polarizability of lithium,” Eur. Phys. J. D38, 353–365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Calvez, S.

Camargo, F.

F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
[CrossRef]

J. Zondy, F. Camargo, T. Zanon, V. Petrov, and N. Wetter, “Observation of strong cascaded Kerr-lens dynamics in an optimally-coupled cw intracavity frequency-doubled Nd:YLF ring laser,” Opt. Express18, 4796–4815 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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E. Khazanov, N. Andreev, A. Mal’shakov, O. Palashov, A. Poteomkin, A. Sergeev, A. Shaykin, V. Zelenogorsky, I. Ivanov, R. Amin, G. Mueller, D.B. Tanner, and D.H. Reitze, “Compensation of thermally induced modal distortions in Faraday isolators,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.40, 1500–1510 (2004).
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L. Rothman, I. Gordon, A. Barbe, D. Benner, P. Bernath, M. Birk, V. Boudon, L. Brown, A. Campargue, J.-P. Champion, K. Chance, L. Coudert, V. Dana, V. Devi, S. Fally, J.-M. Flaud, R. Gamache, A. Goldman, D. Jacquemart, I. Kleiner, N. Lacome, W. Lafferty, J.-Y. Mandin, S. Massie, S. Mikhailenko, C. Miller, N. Moazzen-Ahmadi, O. Naumenko, A. Nikitin, J. Orphal, V. Perevalov, A. Perrin, A. Predoi-Cross, C. Rinsland, M. Rotger, M. imekov, M. Smith, K. Sung, S. Tashkun, J. Tennyson, R. Toth, A. Vandaele, and J. V. Auwera, “The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra.110, 533 – 572 (2009).
[CrossRef]

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U. Eismann, F. Gerbier, C. Canalias, A. Zukauskas, G. Trénec, J. Vigué, F. Chevy, and C. Salomon, “An all-solid-state laser source at 671 nm for cold-atom experiments with lithium,” Appl. Phys. B106, 25–36 (2012).
[CrossRef]

G. Trénec, W. Volondat, O. Cugat, and J. Vigué, “Permanent magnets for Faraday rotators inspired by the design of the magic sphere,” Appl. Opt.50, 4788–4797 (2011).
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A. Miffre, M. Jacquey, M. Büchner, G. Trénec, and J. Vigué, “Atom interferometry measurement of the electric polarizability of lithium,” Eur. Phys. J. D38, 353–365 (2006).
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Y. F. Chen, T. M. Huang, C. F. Kao, C. L. Wang, and S. C. Wang, “Optimization in scaling fiber-coupled laser-diode end-pumped lasers to higher power: influence of thermal effect,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.33, 1424–1429 (1997).
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Y. F. Chen, T. M. Huang, C. F. Kao, C. L. Wang, and S. C. Wang, “Optimization in scaling fiber-coupled laser-diode end-pumped lasers to higher power: influence of thermal effect,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.33, 1424–1429 (1997).
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F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
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F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
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F. Hou, L. Yu, X. Jia, Y. Zheng, C. Xie, and K. Peng, “Experimental generation of optical non-classical states of light with 1.34 μm wavelength,” Eur. Phys. J. D62, 433–437 (2011).
[CrossRef]

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F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
[CrossRef]

J. Zondy, F. Camargo, T. Zanon, V. Petrov, and N. Wetter, “Observation of strong cascaded Kerr-lens dynamics in an optimally-coupled cw intracavity frequency-doubled Nd:YLF ring laser,” Opt. Express18, 4796–4815 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Zukauskas, A.

U. Eismann, F. Gerbier, C. Canalias, A. Zukauskas, G. Trénec, J. Vigué, F. Chevy, and C. Salomon, “An all-solid-state laser source at 671 nm for cold-atom experiments with lithium,” Appl. Phys. B106, 25–36 (2012).
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[CrossRef]

U. Eismann, F. Gerbier, C. Canalias, A. Zukauskas, G. Trénec, J. Vigué, F. Chevy, and C. Salomon, “An all-solid-state laser source at 671 nm for cold-atom experiments with lithium,” Appl. Phys. B106, 25–36 (2012).
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A. Miffre, M. Jacquey, M. Büchner, G. Trénec, and J. Vigué, “Atom interferometry measurement of the electric polarizability of lithium,” Eur. Phys. J. D38, 353–365 (2006).
[CrossRef]

F. Hou, L. Yu, X. Jia, Y. Zheng, C. Xie, and K. Peng, “Experimental generation of optical non-classical states of light with 1.34 μm wavelength,” Eur. Phys. J. D62, 433–437 (2011).
[CrossRef]

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D. Fernandes, F. Sievers, N. Kretzschmar, S. Wu, C. Salomon, and F. Chevy, “Sub-doppler laser cooling of fermionic 40K atoms in three-dimensional gray optical molasses,” Europhys. Lett.100, 63001 (2012).
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F. Camargo, T. Zanon-Willette, T. Badr, N. Wetter, and J. Zondy, “Tunable single-frequency Nd:YVO4 BiB3O6 ring laser at 671 nm,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.46, 804–809 (2010).
[CrossRef]

E. Khazanov, N. Andreev, A. Mal’shakov, O. Palashov, A. Poteomkin, A. Sergeev, A. Shaykin, V. Zelenogorsky, I. Ivanov, R. Amin, G. Mueller, D.B. Tanner, and D.H. Reitze, “Compensation of thermally induced modal distortions in Faraday isolators,” IEEE J. Quantum Elect.40, 1500–1510 (2004).
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Figures (6)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

The laser setup. The pump source, a fiber-coupled diode laser bar (FP), is imaged into the gain medium by a pair of lenses f1 and f2. The Nd:YVO4 gain medium is placed in a four-mirror bow-tie ring resonator consisting of mirrors M1–4, which are highly reflecting at 1342 nm. Unidirectional operation is forced employing a terbium gallium garnet (TGG)-based Faraday rotator in combination with a half-wave plate (λ/2). The use of an etalon (E) allows for stable single-longitudinal-mode operation. The nonlinear crystal (pp-KTP) is inserted at the tight focus between the curved mirrors M3 and M4. The second harmonic output beam (red) is transmitted through M3. For the measurements presented in Section 2, the ppKTP was removed and the distance M3–M4 adjusted accordingly, and the high-reflectivity mirror M2 was replaced by a partly transmitting output coupling mirror. The fundamental laser beam (green) is then coupled out through M2.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

(a) Optimization of the output power by changing the pump spot diameter, performed on the laser cavity presented in Fig. 1 with all the intracavity elements removed, except for the Nd:YVO4. For a �� = 5% output coupler (M2), the mode overlap was optimized for each pump spot diameter by slight adjustments of the curved-mirror distance M3–M4. Lines are guides to the eye only. (b) Rigrod analysis. The infrared output power Pω is measured as a function of the output coupler transmission �� and fitted with the Rigrod model (1) for bidirectional (red diamonds, dashed line) and unidirectional (blue circles, solid line) operation at Pabs,max = 32.5W and optimized mode overlap. In both cases the optimum transmission is found at �� ≈ 5%. The parasitic roundtrip loss determined from the fits yield 10(4)% for the bidirectional and = 16(6)% for the unidirectional case.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Infrared unidirectional output power Pω as a function of the absorbed pump power Pabs. The setup is optimized for the maximal absorbed pump power Pabs,max = 32.5 W. The oscillation threshold is found at Pabs ≈ 28W. The data shows hysteresis between Pabs = 29W and 30 W, as indicated by the arrows for increasing or decreasing pump power. This behavior is typical for high-power designs. After a sudden rise the output power increases only slowly until it eventually reaches the maximum of 2.5W at Pabs,max. Lines are guides to the eye only.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Output power as a function of the phase-matching temperature (points, blue lines are a guide to the eye only). The data shows a double-peak structure of 1.9 W / 2.1 W of output power slightly off of the optimum phase-matching temperature of 33.2°C (central vertical line). A simple theoretical model presented in the text (dash-dotted purple line) describes the data well in the central high-conversion region, using the known temperature dependence of the single-pass doubling efficiency, which is proportional to the dimensionless Boyd-Kleinman function h(T) [dashed gold line, Eq. (4)]. The dashed vertical line indicates the perfect phase-matching temperature of Tpm = 33.2°C, where β(Tpm) ≃ 0, and the nonlinear output coupling is too high to reach maximum output power. The vertical lines with arrows indicate the temperature regions where self-mode locking occurs, cf. Section 4.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

(Lines are guides for the eye only) Single-frequency output spectra of the infrared laser presented in Section 2 (blue circles), the intracavity-frequency-doubled laser (purple squares) and the infrared source presented in [5] (gold triangles). For easy comparison, all wavelengths are given in vacuum values. The vertical lines denote the positions of the lithium-D line resonances. The green line shows a water vapor absorption spectrum for typical parameters (23 °C, 60% rel. humidity). The wavelength regions marked A,B,C where stable, powerful operation of the lasers can not be established coincide with absorption peaks of water molecules. The level of output power of the infrared laser and the frequency-doubled laser are closely spaced, proving that the nonlinear crystal introduces weak additional passive loss in the laser cavity, whereas the degree of nonlinear output coupling is at its optimum value.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Doppler-free saturated absorption spectroscopy of the lithium D-lines. (a) Sample scan over the entire 6Li D1 Doppler-broadened absorption peak. The inset shows the sub-Doppler features. Similar spectra are obtained for all lithium D lines. (b) Error signals of all lithium D-line transitions, generated by phase modulation spectroscopy. These signals provide an excellent reference for frequency-locking of the laser.

Equations (4)

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P ω = P sat 𝒯 [ G 0 𝒯 + 1 ]
P 2 ω = P sat G 0 ξ [ ( ξ ζ ) 2 + ξ ( ξ + ζ ) ] 2 ,
η ( T ) = 2 ω 3 d i j 2 L π ε 0 c 4 n ω , i ( T ) n 2 ω , j ( T ) × h [ α , β ( T ) ] ,
h [ α , α 0 , β ( T ) ] = 1 4 α | α α 0 α α 0 e i β ( T ) τ 1 + i τ d τ | 2 ,

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