Mid IR lasers in the 2.1- and 2.8-μm wavelength regions based, respectively, on holmium (Ho) doped and erbium (Er) doped crystals have existed for two decades. Until recently, both the Ho and Er lasers had considerable disadvantages when compared with 1.06-μm neodymium doped systems. The use of Cr sensitization and a judicious choice of doping levels and host crystals1–3 has resulted in significant improvement in both Ho and Er doped room temperature lasers. We report experimental results on the average power performance of chromium-sensitized Ho and Er lasers.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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