Light-emitting diodes: a new paradigm for Ti:sapphire pumping

Abstract : Ti:sapphire presents unequaled tuning properties. However, because of a short lifetime, the energy cannot be stored in Ti 3+ upper level which makes this gain medium difficult to pump. Hence, the size, price and complexity of femtosecond laser chains are partially driven by their pump source. We present a novel concept to pump Ti:Sapphire based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which gathers ruggedness, compactness, simplicity and low price. Combining LEDs and a Ce:LuAG luminescent concentrator, we report the first LED-pumped Ti:sapphire laser. With 2240 blue LEDs (at 450 nm) in pulsed regime (10 Hz, 15 µs), the pump module has a maximum emission at 530 nm and delivers up to 20.9 mJ with an irradiance of 9.9 kW/cm². This low-cost and compact pump system, among the brightest incoherent sources ever developed, enables a laser emission in Ti:sapphire (32 µJ at 790 nm). The tunability of the laser is demonstrated between 755 nm and 845 nm. The double pass small signal gain in the cavity is numerically simulated and measured to reach 1.066.
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P. Pichon, Adrien Barbet, Jean-Philippe Blanchot, Frédéric Druon, François Balembois, et al.. Light-emitting diodes: a new paradigm for Ti:sapphire pumping. Optica, Optical Society of America (OSA), 2018, 5 (10), pp.1236. ⟨10.1364/OPTICA.5.001236⟩. ⟨hal-02193027⟩

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