VICTOR, N.Y., May 16, 2011 — The latest addition to Toptica Photonics Inc.’s SHG pro series of frequency-converted diode lasers is a continuous-wave system with output power of 2 W at 589 nm. The new DL RFA SHG pro features single-frequency operation, a linewidth of <1 MHz and a mode-hop-free tuning range of >10 GHz. Suited for laser cooling of sodium, it is a stable and easy-to-use alternative to the previously employed intricate dye lasers that required frequent maintenance and water cooling. The device is based on a tunable grating-stabilized external-cavity diode seed laser in the company’s proven pro design at 1178 nm. The output of the seed laser is amplified within a polarization-maintaining Raman fiber amplifier that preserves the spectral properties — in particular, the narrow linewidth — of the seed laser. Subsequently, the amplifier output is frequency doubled in a second-harmonic generation pro resonator to the target wavelength of 589 nm. The system features a good beam profile and high long-term power and frequency stability. It is suited for laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation of sodium atoms and for mixed-atom systems. Versions with output powers up to 20 W for sodium-light detection and ranging, high-resolution microscopy or laser guide stars also are available. Not being limited to 589 nm, the technology can be transferred to wavelengths between 560 and 640 nm (e.g., 583 nm for laser cooling of erbium), or extended to frequency-quadrupled systems between 280 and 310 nm (e.g., 285 nm for laser cooling of magnesium).