Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) can produce wavelength tunable coherent light sources and have been widely used in various applications including the remote sensing, spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, range finder, optical communications, and bio-medicine.
Several high-efficiency intracavity wavelength converters have been developed via the use of a nonlinear crystal in an acousto-optic or electro-optic (EO) Q-switched solid-state laser. However, a more compact integrated system performing the same device functions is still rare.
In this thesis, we have devoted to integrate two device functions in a monolithic LiNbO3 crystal. These two devices are an EO Bragg deflector and an optical parametric generator (OPG). A 2D periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) crystal has been designed and fabricated in this work to simultaneously satisfy the phase-matching conditions required for functioning the two devices. We further inserted this 2D PPLN crystal in a Nd:YVO4 laser system to simultaneously function as a laser Q switch and an intracavity optical parametric amplifier.
We have performed an intracavity OPG (IOPG) and an intracavity OPO (IOPO) experiments using the fabricated 2D PPLN in a diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 laser system. During the experiments, a line OPG emission source has been observed in such a light source, which is exactly the signature with a 2D QPM wavelength converter. The diode pump threshold (<4 W), output peak power (~7 W), and output spectral bandwidth (~0.73 nm) of the measured OPO signals have been reduced by a factor of 1.4, enhanced by 5 folds, and narrowed by a factor of 7.3 in comparison with those measured from the OPG signal, respectively. Finally we also proposed in this thesis advanced laser schemes to further enhance the overall system efficiency.
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