We describe a novel method for the determination of the stimulated emission cross section in Cr4+-doped solid-state lasers from laser-induced pump saturation data. The technique uses the fact that increasing intra-cavity laser intensity stimulates a faster decay of excited atoms and reduces the saturation of pump absorption. A numerical model was developed to analyze the experimental data collected from Cr4+:YAG and Cr4+:forsterite lasers. The best-fit values of the stimulated emission cross section agree with previous results. To demonstrate the applicability of the method to other solid-state lasers, the same technique was also used to determine the emission cross section in a Cr2+:ZnSe laser.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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