Nd:LuYLF Generates 4.5-ps Pulses
Solid-state lasers based on Nd:LuLF offer a wider spectral emission than those based on Nd:YLF, making them suitable for ultrashort-pulse operation, but LuLF is a much more expensive crystal to produce. Researchers at Centro de Lasers e Aplicações in São Paulo, Brazil, therefore, suggested only partially replacing the yttrium with lutetium, to yield a more economically viable lasing medium that they have dubbed Nd:LuYLF.
In the August issue of Optical Engineering, the researchers reported the mode-locked operation of an Nd:LuYLF laser that outperforms Nd:YLF in the same configuration. They employed acousto-optical modulation with Kerr-lens-induced pulse shaping with the diode-pumped laser to produce pulses as short as 4.5 ps, or 25 percent shorter than with Nd:YLF. They believe that the setup could produce 2-ps pulses, if the end mirror were directly coated on the face of the crystal.
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