Abstract

We describe the operation of a self-starting Nd:YAG laser oscillator incorporating a design in which laser oscillation occurs by means of diffraction from spontaneously generated three-dimensional gain gratings produced by spatial hole burning in the Nd:YAG amplifier. The transient onset and spectral selectivity of the gain gratings produce an output with energy of 600 mJ in a 10-ns single-longitudinal-mode pulse at 10 Hz. The self-adaptation of the gain gratings produces compensation of intracavity phase distortion. A transient numerical modeling of the nonlinear resonator gives good agreement with the experimental system and also provides insight into the temporal dynamics of the gain grating.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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