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

D.J.M. Stothard, J.M. Hopkins, D. Burns, M.H. Dunn

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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%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10648-10658
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2009


  • continuous-wave operation
  • optical parametic oscillator
  • OPO
  • semiconductor disc laser

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