Cost Effective Profiling of Neodymium-Doped Vanadate Laser Pulses

  •  Raymond Edziah    


As environmental conditions and component degradation and failure are known to affect the performance of ultrafast lasers, it is important to monitor their state in any nonlinear optical study. This may be achieved by measuring the temporal width of the laser pulses using an autocorrelator. In this work, an autocorrelator for measuring the pulsewidth of mode-locked lasers was custom-built using pieces of equipment usually found in a typical ultrafast optics laboratory. The assembled equipment was tested using SESAM (Saturable Semiconductor Absorber Mirror) mode-locked neodymium-doped vanadate (Nd:YVO4) laser having manufacturer specified average output power of 1.6 W and 10 ps pulsewidth. Using the background-free autocorrelation technique, the pulse width of the laser was measured to be 10.4 ps. This type of autocorrelator is cost effective and may be handy in situations where research funds are limited; a scenario commonly experienced in research laboratories of developing countries. Additionally, the processes involved in assembling the autocorrelator provide a useful learning experience for new researchers. The study also outlined the processes involved in modifying an existing autocorrelation setup in order to measure laser beam spot size; a useful parameter in nonlinear optical studies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9639
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9647
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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