Coherent mid-IR sources based on orientation-patterned GaAs (OPGaAs) are of significant interest in diverse scientific, medical, and military applications. The generation of long-wavelength mid-IR beams in OPGaAs using optical parametric oscillation exhibits limitations in the obtainable pulse energy and peak power. The master oscillator power amplifier concept is demonstrated in OPGaAs, by which a mid-IR source based on optical parametric oscillation can be scaled to high energy by amplification of the output of the optical parametric oscillator in an optical parametric amplifier (OPA). A fivefold increase in the pulse energy is obtained using this method by amplifying pulses in an OPGaAs OPA pumped by a Th,Ho:YLF Q-switched laser.
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