High-power, ND-INDIFFUSED-YVO4, Tapered Waveguide Lasers

EPSRC 2000-2003

Compact laser sources of high average power and good beam quality are needed for a variety of industrial, medical and research applications. This has inspired work on diode-bar-pumped waveguide lasers, as planar waveguides are compatible with the asymmetric beam-shape of diode-bars, leading to highly-compact coupling schemes. However, the output of the waveguide laser is far from diffraction-limited in the non-guided plane because of the broad gain region and the use of short monolithic resonators. Here we had proposed the use of adiabatic waveguide tapers that couple the planar diode-bar-pumped region to a single mode channel section, leading to near-diffraction-limited output. A low-loss taper design can expand up to 200um in a few cm. This is compatible with diode-bar side-pumping if a material with a strong absorption for the diode emission is used. For this reason we also began to develop Nd-indiffused waveguide fabrication in Yttrium Vanadate. This required the study of the diffusion characteristics and waveguide fabrication in this important material.

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Copyright University of Southampton 2006