High power Yb:YAG thin film laser materials fabricated by laser deposition are now available. Researchers at the University of Southampton demonstrated multi-watt laser action from a 15 μm-thick planar waveguide fabricated via pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of high-quality Yb:YAG crystal, with characteristics comparable to those obtained by expensive conventional crystal growth techniques. PLD, used by authors, has the potential to allow fabrication of materials and structures that are difficult if not impossible to grow via traditional techniques from the melt. As a result of using PLD, the deposited active material was a single-domain single-crystal film with planar waveguide properties, which allowed achieving excellent laser parameters using a diode pumping configuration. Cheap and simple production of these tiny and powerful lasers makes the technique presented in this article an ideal component for future chip-scale integrated circuits.
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