Abstract

A Nd:YAG laser crystal was pumped at 946nm and lased at 1064nm. This pump–lase format was investigated in order to reduce the quantum defect between the pump and laser photons as compared to other pump schemes of this material. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first realization of this scheme. A room temperature absorption coefficient and linewidth of 0.075cm1 and 1nm for 1% at. Nd+3 concentrations were measured for the 946nm absorption line. Those parameters impose both narrow-bandwidth pumping and a long absorption path. By increasing the laser crystal temperature above room temperature, the absorption cross sections at 946 and 938nm increase due to enhanced thermal population of the upper energy level of the ground manifold. The possibility of exploiting this phenomenon to enhance the pump absorption is also discussed.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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