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Infrared Femtosecond Lasers

#B-631


Mid-Infrared Vibronic Femtosecond Laser Oscillators

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
01.11.2000

Completion date
29.06.2005

Senior Project Manager
Kulikov G G

Leading Institute
Belorussian State Polytechnic Academy / International Laser Center, Belarus, Minsk

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Solid State and Semiconductor Physics, Belarus, Minsk

Project summary

The goal of the Project is the development of the ultrashort-pulse laser technology based on mirror dispersion control (MDC) in the near- and mid-infrared wavelength regions. This cutting-edge femtosecond technology was initially developed at the Photonics Institute of TU Vienna for Ti:Sapphire, Cr:LiSAF and Cr:LiSGaF oscillators. The goal is to be accomplished by combining the accumulated substantial knowledge of novel laser materials and crystal growth technology, as well as semiconductor saturable absorber growth (CIS part of the project) with diode-pumping experience and mode-locking techniques, based on the implementation of dispersive dielectric mirrors (Austrian part of the project). The joint research effort is finally aimed at the development (at the Photonics Institute of TU Vienna) of the following ultrashort pulsed laser systems, possessing unique parameters in respect to the pulse duration, output power and compactness:

– Directly diode-pumped compact continuous-wave (cw) tunable and ultrashort-pulsed MDC laser sources around 1.2–1.7 microns, based primarily on Cr4+:YAG and related materials. Cr4+:YAG laser, delivering more than 300 mW in the cw- and about 100 mW in the mode-locked regimes, is currently under development. By optimization of the mirror dispersion and using the newly developed within the present project mirrors and active media with exceptionally low losses, shortening of the pulse-duration down to 20 fs is envisaged.

– Development of the compact and highly stable femtosecond sources, operating between 2 and 3 microns, based on the recently developed new class of vibronic Cr2+- doped ZnSe-type crystals. These crystals are unique in their spectroscopic as well as thermal properties, comparable only to Ti:sapphire. The bandwidth of these crystals allows pulses as short as 20 fs.

These ultrashort-pulsed lasers can be used as a promising modern tool for such applications as medicine, gas analysis, remote sensing and telecommunications.

The project represents an international high-technology collaborative effort. It is pided between the two major collaborators: CIS R & D groups (coordinator Dr. Nikolai Kuleshov) and Photonics Institute, TU Vienna (coordinator Dr. Irina Sorokina). The corresponding agreement is to be signed by both sides before the project begin. The CIS part of the project represents an indispensable technological constituent of the overall project providing key laser elements:

– high-quality Cr2+-doped chalcogenides and Cr4+-doped garnet laser crystals;


– high-brightness high-power InGaAsP diode lasers for pumping of Cr2+: chalcogenides and Cr4+: garnets;
– PbS(Se)- and oxidised copper selenide-doped glasses as well as InAs/InxGa1-xAs epilayer structures having saturable absorption on femtosecond time scale;
– combined saturable absorber mode-lockers with dispersion compensation ability for different infrared wavelength regions based on the above materials.

The funding of the Austrian part of the project is available. The funding of CIS part of the work is being sought within the frames of ISTC.

The Project meets following ISTC Goals:

– The project execution could provide 11 weapon scientists and engineers from CIS state an opportunity to redirect their talents to peaceful activities: investigation of laser materials for public applications.


– Integration of scientists from CIS into the international optical community, especially into European scientific community, will be strengthened due to extention of long-term collaboration with Photonics Institute at the Technical University of Vienna.
– Applied research and technology development for peaceful purposes in the field of new types of IR solid state laser materials for efficient diode-pumped femtosecond lasers will be supported.
– The project will contribute to the solution of national and international technical problem: development of cw laser light sources tunable in the NIR- and mid-IR spectral range.
– The transition to market-based economy responsive to civil needs will be reinforced since the results open new opportunities for optical companies to arrange mass commercial production of laser components and equipment for public applications.


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