Low-cost low-threshold diode end-pumped Tm:YAG laser at 2.016 μm
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- Beyatlı, E., Naghizadeh, S., Kurt, A. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2012) 109: 221. doi:10.1007/s00340-012-5188-1
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We report a low-threshold continuous-wave Tm:YAG laser that can be excited near 785 nm with low-cost, single-mode AlGaAs laser diodes. Low-threshold operation was achieved using a tightly focused, astigmatically compensated x-cavity containing a 2-mm-thick Tm:YAG crystal with 5 % Tm3+ concentration. Two linearly polarized single-mode diodes operating at 785.8 nm were polarization coupled to end pump the resonator. With a 6 % output coupler, as high as 32 mW of output power could be obtained at 2016 nm with 184 mW of incident pump power. The output could be further tuned in the 1935–2035 nm range. Slope efficiency measurements indicated that cross-relaxation was very effective at this doping level. With a 2 % output coupler, lasing could be obtained with as low as 32.3 mW of pump power. In the limit of vanishing output coupling, the incident threshold pump power could be reduced to as low as 25 mW. To our knowledge, this is among the lowest lasing thresholds reported to date for continuous-wave, room-temperature thulium lasers.