Abstract

Trigonal langasite-type ordered silicate crystal Yb:Ca3NbGa3Si2O14 (Yb:CNGS) is a promising material for efficient 1  μm lasers. We report on the first passively Q-switched Yb:CNGS laser using Cr4+:YAG and V3+:YAG saturable absorbers (SAs) with a 976 nm volume-Bragg-grating-stabilized diode as a pump source. The laser crystal was a c cut 3 at.% Yb:CNGS grown by the Czochralski method. It was placed in a compact microchip-type laser cavity. With a Cr4+:YAG SA, very stable 62.2 μJ/4.4 ns pulses were achieved at a repetition rate of 22.5 kHz. The average output power was 1.40 W at 1015.3 nm, corresponding to a Q switching conversion efficiency of 90%. With the V3+:YAG SA, the pulse characteristics were 13.3 μJ/11.1 ns at a higher repetition rate of 68.4 kHz. The performance of the Yb:CNGS/Cr4+:YAG was numerically modeled showing a good agreement with the experiment.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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