Abstract

We report significant average power and efficiency scaling of diode-pumped Cr:LiSAF lasers in continuous-wave (cw), cw frequency-doubled, and mode-locked regimes. Four single-emitter broad-area laser diodes around 660 nm were used as the pump source, which provided a total pump power of 7.2 W. To minimize thermal effects, a 20 mm long Cr:LiSAF sample with a relatively low Cr-concentration (0.8%) was used as the gain medium. In cw laser experiments, 2.4 W of output power, a slope efficiency of 50%, and a tuning range covering the 770–1110 nm region were achieved. Intracavity frequency doubling with beta-barium borate (BBO) crystals generated up to 1160 mW of blue power and a record tuning range in the 387–463 nm region. When mode locked with a saturable absorber mirror, the laser produced 195 fs pulses with 580 mW of average power around 820 nm at a 100.3 MHz repetition rate. The optical-to-optical conversion efficiency of the system was 33% in cw, 16% in cw frequency-doubled, and 8% in cw mode-locked regimes.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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