, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 251-255
Date: 15 Sep 2009

Femtosecond laser written stress-induced Nd:Y3Al5O12 (Nd:YAG) channel waveguide laser

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Single tracks and pairs of tracks were written into undoped and Nd-doped YAG crystals using a commercial femtosecond laser system delivering pulses with pulse duration of 140 fs and pulse energies up to 10 μJ. The pulses were focused by a 50× microscope objective below the surface of the crystals. Due to the elasto-optical effect, stress-induced birefringence was observed in domains surrounding the single tracks and between the pairs of tracks. Waveguiding was demonstrated in certain channels in these domains. To investigate the underlying guiding mechanism highly selective chemical etching of the modified material was performed with etching rates up to 5 μm/h. Pumped at 808 nm, laser operation at a wavelength of 1064 nm was achieved. The maximum output power was 25.5 mW at 261 mW of launched pump power with a slope efficiency of 23%.