Abstract

By studying quasi-continuous wave (QCW) operation of a Ce:Nd:YAG solid-state laser directly pumped by LED arrays, we demonstrate the feasibility of direct-LED pumping as an alternative to direct-diode or flashlamp pumping. LEDs emitting either at 460 or 810 nm were used to pump an uncooled Ce:Nd:YAG laser rod (at 30-Hz repetition rate for tens of seconds). Pumping at 460 nm was made possible by the Ce3+ co-dopant that enables transfer of excitations near to Nd3+ ions in the YAG lattice. Comparison of these two pumping schemes has allowed for a thorough analysis of the performance and efficiency of this laser system. QCW output energies as high as 18 mJ/pulse are reported, which to the best of our knowledge is the highest output pulse energy achieved by an LED-pumped solid-state laser to date.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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