Passive Q-switching of Yb bulk lasers by a graphene saturable absorber
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Compact Yb:KLu(WO4)2 and Yb:LuVO4 lasers diode-pumped at 978 nm are passively Q-switched by a single-layer graphene saturable absorber. The Yb:KLu(WO4)2 laser generated 165 ns/0.49 μJ pulses at 1030 nm with 170 mW average output power and 12 % slope efficiency. With the Yb:LuVO4 laser, 152 ns/0.83 μJ pulses were achieved. The output power reached 300 mW at 1024 nm, and the slope efficiency was 10 %. Laser operation in a plano-plano cavity is achieved with both crystals with thermal lensing playing a key role in their performance. A model describing graphene Q-switched Yb lasers is developed. Our results indicate the potential of graphene for passive Q-switching of ~1 μm bulk lasers.
KeywordsSaturable Absorber Thermal Lens Pulse Repetition Frequency Slope Efficiency Absorb Pump Power
This work was supported by the Spanish Government under projects MAT2013-47395-C4-4-R and TEC2014-55948-R, and by the Generalitat de Catalunya under Project 2014SGR1358. F.D. acknowledges additional support through the ICREA Academia Award 2010ICREA-02 for excellence in research. This work is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 657630.
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