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Output characteristics of Q-switched solid-state lasers using intracavity MEMS micromirrors

Bauer, Ralf and Paterson, Alan and Clark, Caspar and Uttamchandani, Deepak and Lubeigt, Walter (2015) Output characteristics of Q-switched solid-state lasers using intracavity MEMS micromirrors. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 21 (1). ISSN 1077-260X

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Abstract

The output behavior of a Nd:YAG solid-state laser actively Q-switched by a MEMS scanning micromirror is presented. Using a gold-coated micromirror, maximum average output powers of 50mW and pulse durations as short as 120ns were obtained with a dual beam output. This output pattern originates from a pulse emission when the micromirror is at an angle from the cavity axis. The temporal and spatial behavior of this laser was experimentally characterized and then modelled using a numerical simulation of the laser rate equations. Finally, prospects for power-scaling this MEMS-based Q-switch technique are demonstrated using a dielectric-coated micromirror, which led to average output powers of up to 650mW and pulse energies above 40μJ.