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Stable, continuous-wave, intracavity, optical parametric oscillator pumped by a semiconductor disk laser (VECSEL)

Stothard, D.J.M. and Hopkins, J.M. and Burns, D. and Dunn, M.H. (2009) Stable, continuous-wave, intracavity, optical parametric oscillator pumped by a semiconductor disk laser (VECSEL). Optics Express, 17 (13). pp. 10648-10658. ISSN 1094-4087

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Abstract

We report relaxation oscillation free, true continuous-wave operation of a singly-resonant, intracavity optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based upon periodically-poled, MgO-doped LiNbO3 and pumped internal to the cavity of a compact, optically-excited semiconductor disk laser (or VECSEL). The very short upper-laser-state lifetime of this laser gain medium, coupled with the enhancing effect of the high-finesse pump laser cavity in which the OPO is located, enables a low threshold, high efficiency intracavity device to be operated free of relaxation oscillations in continuous-wave mode. By optimizing for low-power operation, parametric threshold was achieved at a diode-laser power of only 1.4W. At 8.5W of diode-laser power, 205mW of idler power was extracted, indicating a total down-converted power of 1.25W, and hence a down-conversion efficiency of 83%.