Abstract

We demonstrate a deep-UV laser at 236.5 nm based on extracavity fourth-harmonic generation of a Q-switched Nd:YAG single-crystal fiber laser at 946 nm. We first compare two nonlinear crystals available for second-harmonic generation: LBO and BiBO. The best results at 473 nm are obtained with a BiBO crystal, with an average output power of 3.4 W at 20 kHz, corresponding to a second-harmonic generation efficiency of 38%. This blue laser is frequency-converted to 236.5 nm in a BBO crystal with an overall fourth-harmonic generation yield of 6.5%, corresponding to an average output power of 600 mW at 20 kHz. This represents an order of magnitude increase in average power and energy compared to previously reported pulsed lasers at 236.5 nm. This work opens the possibility of LIDAR detection of dangerous compounds for military or civilian applications.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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