Using Nd3+ as the active ion and yttrium orthosilicate (Y2SiO5) as the host material, efficient Q-switched laser operation has been demonstrated on the Nd3+ 4F3/24I9/2 transition. Figure 1 shows the detailed Stark splittings of the 4F3/2 and 4I9/2 manifolds for both reported types of optical center Nd3+ occupies.1 Because the lasing transition terminates on a Stark level only 355 cm−1 above the lowest lying 4I9/2 level, a 10% excited state fraction is required just to obtain 912-nm transparency, and substantial bleaching is required before efficient Q-switched laser operation is possible.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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