Abstract

The two-dimensional (2D) temperature profiles of an active-gain medium in a Cs + methane diode pumped alkali laser (DPAL) have been experimentally measured. This nonperturbative technique uses a Mach–Zehnder interferometer, which is longitudinally coupled into the cavity of an operating alkali laser to probe the distortion of the optical path length in the gain medium due to heating. The resulting interferograms are analyzed using the commercial program QuickFringe to quickly and accurately measure the distortion through which the temperature profile can be determined. For a 9 W Cs + methane DPAL being pumped with 20 W of resonant D2 light, a maximum temperature rise of 58°C is observed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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