Abstract

Population inversion of the P21/2 and S21/2 levels and continuous-wave, three-level laser oscillation at 795 nm on the D1 transition of the rubidium atom has been demonstrated. Using a titanium sapphire laser as a pump source, we obtained a slope power efficiency of 54% relative to absorbed pump power, consistent with homogeneous broadening of the rubidium pump and laser transitions. The end-pumped rubidium laser performance was well described by use of literature spectroscopic and kinetic data in a model that takes into account ground-level depletion and a pump spectral bandwidth that is substantially larger than the collisionally broadened pump transition spectral width.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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