Abstract

For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, a radially polarized laser pulse was produced from a passively Q-switched Nd:YAG ceramic microchip laser with a piece of Cr4+:YAG crystal as the saturable absorber and multilayer concentric subwavelength grating as the polarization-selective output coupler. The averaged laser power reached 450mW with a slope efficiency of 30.2%. The laser pulse had a maximum peak power of 759W, a minimum pulse duration of 86ns, and a 6.7kHz repetition rate at 3.7W absorbed pump power. The polarization degree of the radially polarized pulse was measured to be as high as 97.4%. Such a radially polarized laser pulse with a high peak power and a short width is important to numerous applications such as metal cutting.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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