Theoretical modeling of diode laser pumped 3-μm Er3+ crystal lasers

Mark Tikerpae*, Stuart D. Jackson, Terence A. King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results from a theoretical model that has been developed to simulate the 3-micrometer laser transition in Er3+ doped Y 3Al5O12 (YAG), Y2Sc 2Ga3O12 (YSGG), LiYF4 (YLF) and BaY2F8 (BaYF) host crystals. The rate equations for the lowest seven energy levels of Er3+ were solved numerically and laser action was simulated under cw, gain-switched (pulse pumped) and Q-switched operation with optical pumping at wavelengths of 975 nm and 795 nm. The relative performance of each laser crystal was compared under identical pumping and cavity conditions to establish the optimum crystal host, doping concentration and pump wavelength for each mode of operation. Some unexpected saturation effects were investigated that could limit the maximum practical pump fluence used for high energy Q-switched systems. We investigate possible additional multi-ion energy transfer processes that may cause the decrease in efficiency that is observed experimentally at high Er3+ ion concentrations. In addition, lower laser level deactivation by co-doping with Pr3+ in BaYF was simulated and compared with singly doped Er:BaYF for a range of Er 3+ and Pr3+ concentrations. It was found that co-doping was not as effective as the cooperative upconversion process present in singly doped Er3+ crystals for efficient laser operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-μm
  • Diode-pumping
  • Erbium laser
  • Theoretical modelling


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