Laser dye molecules among pyrromethene and perylene derivatives were incorporated in solid transparent hybrid organic-inorganic matrices prepared by the sol-gel process. These materials were used as gain medium in solid state dye lasers and efficient laser operation was demonstrated. The best results were obtained with samples doped with pyrromethene molecules. Slope efficiencies up to 86% were measured in the millijoule output energy range. Tunabilities up to 60nm were observed and over 100,000 pulses (and up to 500,000) were emitted by the same spot. Lifetime was increased to well over 1,000,000 pulses with de-oxygenated materials.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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