TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 522/1995
G A Baker, AEA Technology
The limitations of the current flashlamp-pumped Nd:YAG lasers (bulkiness, substantial weight, low PRF, short flashlamp lifetime, low efficiency etc) make the use of these devices impractical/unattractive in a number of laser applications. Recent advances in the development of powerful laser diodes have triggered a spate of activity in the R&D of the next generation of Nd:YAG lasers amongst many laser manufacturers and research groups. In this rapidly emerging technology, laser diodes replace the conventional flashlamps as the means of exciting the Nd:YAG laser and, as a consequence, improve drastically the above mentioned limitations. The overall aim of this project was to assess the importance of diode-pumped Nd:YAG lasers and to evaluate the scaling of these devices to higher powers and their likely commercial viability. The experimental part of this work involved constructing a low power diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser which could be scaled to much higher powers without changing the basic design conc
- To analyse the current status of Nd:YAG laser technology with particular reference to methods of excitation, energy coupling and resonator design and to determine the implications for manufacturers and users.
- To formulate a design for a high efficiency laser by investigating both experimentally and theoretically the factors contributing to overall laser efficiency, and to demonstrate improved efficiency in a working laser.