Editorial Feature

Ytterbium YAG Lasers - Properties and Applications

Ytterbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Yb:YAG) laser is one of the most promising laser-active materials that are more suitable for diode-pumping than the traditional Nd-doped systems. Yb:YAG crystals have large absorption bandwidth than the commonly used Nd:YAG crystal in order to minimize thermal management requirements for diode lasers, and facilitate longer upper-laser level lifetime and low thermal loading.

Other key properties of Yb:YAG laser include:

  • High slope efficiency
  • Broad absorption bands
  • Low fractional heating
  • High optical quality
  • High thermal conductivity.

The broad absorption band of the Yb:YAG laser enables it to maintain uninterrupted pump efficiency over the thermal shift of diode output. Thus, Yb:YAG laser is ideal for high power diode-pumped lasers and other potential applications.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Solid
Pump source Laser diode/Flashlamp
Operating wavelength 1.03 µm

Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical and Chemical Properties
Crystal structure Cubic
Melting point 1965°C
Mohs hardness 8.25
Specific heat capacity 0.59 J/gK
Thermal conductivity 11.2 W/mK
Young's modulus 335 GPa

Applications

Yb:YAG lasers are suitable for high-power operation such as thin-disk lasers. Wide pump band and excellent emission cross-section of Yb:YAG crystal makes it ideal for diode pumping. It is also used for welding, cutting and material processing applications.

Multiphoton microscopy, ultrashort pulse research, LIDAR and optical refrigeration are some of the other major applications of Yb:YAG lasers.

References

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