Abstract

We report on novel upconversion (UC) pumping schemes for 2.3 μm thulium (Tm) lasers (the H43H53 transition) based on a photon avalanche mechanism populating the intermediate metastable level (F43) acting as an effective ground state. The proposed pump wavelengths are 1 and 1.5μm, each one corresponding to a resonant excited-state absorption transition F43F2,33 and F43H43, respectively. UC pumping at 1040, 1055, and 1451 nm of 2.3 μm Tm:LiYF4 lasers is demonstrated. In the former case, the laser generates 102 mW at 2302 nm with a slope efficiency of 14.6% (versus the incident pump power). The laser dynamics is studied. UC pumping is promising for reaching high efficiencies in 2.3 μm Tm lasers.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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