Directly diode-pumped high-energy Ho:YAG oscillator.
ABSTRACT We report on the high-energy laser operation of an Ho:YAG oscillator resonantly pumped by a GaSb-based laser diode stack at 1.9 μm. The output energy was extracted from a compact plano-concave acousto-optically Q-switched resonator optimized for low repetition rates. Operating at 100 Hz, pulse energies exceeding 30 mJ at a wavelength of 2.09 μm were obtained. The corresponding pulse duration at the highest pump power was 100 ns, leading to a maximum peak power above 300 kW. Different pulse repetition rates and output coupling transmissions of the Ho:YAG resonator were studied. In addition, intracavity laser-induced damage threshold measurements are discussed.