Laser Crystals and Components - Passive Q Switch Crystals

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Laser Materials

Cobalt-doped magnesium aluminate spinel is a solid state passive Q-Switch material of with peak power around the eye-safe wavelength of 1.5um. Co²⁺ ions substitute for the tetrahedrally coordinated Mg²⁺ ions in the MgAl²O⁴ lattice exhibiting a broad absorption band in the range of 1200-1600. Solid-State passive Q-Switches generating high power laser pulses are attractive because they allow for the development of compact low-cost laser sources without the need for a high voltage power supply. Passive Q-Switches are specified by Optical Density or % Transmission.


Laser Materials

C⁴⁺:YAG has become the solid-state passive Q-switch material of choice for 1 micron laser systems, offering several significant advantages over active acousto-optic and electro-optic devices, including:

• Eliminates the need for a high voltage power supply
• Reduce packaging size and weight
• Improved reliability and a longer lifetime in 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers.
• Readily fabricated into high optical quality OEM components.

A small fraction of the chromium ions in YAG can be induced to change valence from the normal Cr³⁺ to Cr⁴⁺ with the addition of charge compensating impurities such as Mg²⁺ or Ca²⁺. The best measure of the Cr⁴⁺ concentration is the low power absorption coefficient alpha at 1064 nm. The typical values of alpha vary from 1-7 cm-1 for passive Q-switch applications. References 1)

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