Abstract

The bottleneck in Ho3+:I65I752.9  μm laser emission, where the upper-level lifetime (I65) is significantly shorter than that of the lower-level (I75) lifetime, is overcome by co-doping Ho3+ and Pr3+ ions. A novel kind of Ho3+,Pr3+:YLIF4 (Ho,Pr:YLF) crystal is fabricated by optimizing the doping concentration ratios. By using as-grown Ho,Pr: YLF crystals with doping concentrations of 0.498 at. % Ho3+, 0.115 at. % Pr3+ and 0.489 at. % Ho3+, 0.097 at. % Pr3+ as gain media, both high-efficiency and continuous-wave 2.9 μm laser operations are realized under 1150 nm fiber laser pumping, respectively. With the 0.498 at. % Ho3+, 0.115 at. % Pr3+: YLF crystal, a maximum output power of 1.27 W with a corresponding slope efficiency of 28.3% is yielded under a 4.48 W absorbed pump power, which is the highest output power among the Ho3+-doped 2.9 μm lasers ever reported, to the best of our knowledge. The results well reveal the great potential of Ho,Pr:YLF crystals in developing high-power, high-efficiency 2.9 μm mid-infrared lasers.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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