Saturable absorbers for passive Q-switching of erbium lasers emitting in the region of 3 μm
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The phototropic properties of Fe:ZnSe, Co:ZnSe, and Co:ZnS single crystals have been investigated. It is shown that these crystals can be used to advantage as the saturable absorbers in solid-state erbium lasers emitting in the region of the 3-μm range. The absorption cross sections of the ground states of the Co2+ ion in the ZnSe (σGSA = 11·10−20 cm2) and ZnS (σGSA = 5.6·10−20 cm2) crystals and of the Fe2+ ion in the ZnSe (σGSA = 50·10−20 cm2) crystal at λ = 2.79 μm were determined experimentally. It has been established that the above-indicated crystals in the excited state absorb light weakly. The use of these crystals as passive Q switches made it possible to realize, for the first time, the regime of Q-switching of a Cr,Er:YSGG laser emitting at a wavelength of 2.79 μm. Single pulses with an energy of 60 mJ and a duration of 170 nsec were obtained in the regime of passive Q-switching.
Keywordssingle crystals of Fe:ZnSe, Co:ZnSe, and Co:ZnS absorption saturation absorption cross section Q-switching passive laser Q switch 3-μm spectral region
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