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The First Domestic Diode Pumped Potassium Vapor Laser Emission Achieved by the Institute of Electronics
Update time: 2018-09-18
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Following the realization of laser diode (LD) pumped rubidium laser emission in 2012 and the first domestic LD pumped caesium laser emission in 2013, the Advanced Laser and Detection Technology Department (The Fifth Laboratory) of the Institute of Electronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences succeeded in realizing light emission from the LD pumped potassium vapor laser for the first time on August 24, 2018.


Diode Pumped Alkali Vapor Laser (DPAL) currently consists of three main types,  utilizing potassium vapor, rubidium vapor, and caesium vapor respectively. The DPAL has the advantages of excellent beam quality, small volume, easy thermal management, and high quantum efficiency. It can potentially emit laser beam with high quality and high intensity at megawatt level from a single-caliber. This novel type of optically pumped gas laser possesses promising future development.


Comparing with rubidium and caesium vapor lasers, LD pumped potassium vapor lasers do not require the addition of hydrocarbon buffer gas. The problem of vapor chamber window contamination can thus be avoided. On the other hand, the higher quantum efficiency of potassium vapor lasers allows for more potential in achieving ultra-high power. However, due to its higher output threshold, this laser faces more technical barriers for emitting light than the other two alkali metal lasers.


A diode laser with center wavelength of 766.5 nm was used as the pump light. After narrowing the linewidth of the pump light by a planar grating, the beam was then shaped, focused by a converging lens, passed through a polarization beam splitter (PBS), and finally went into the potassium vapor chamber at a pump power of 10.35W. The schematic diagram of the output potassium vapor laser optical setup and the measured output laser spectrum are shown in the figures below. According to the measurement, the output potassium vapor laser is a linear polarization laser with a wavelength of 769.9 nm, an output power of 138mW and a luminous efficiency of about 1.33%. At present, the research team is optimizing the experimental parameters to further improve the performance of this laser. (The Fifth Laboratory, Fangjin Ning)


Fig 1 Optical Setup





Fig 2 Laser Spectrum

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