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Praseodymium-doped fluorozirconate glass fiber upconversion laser

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Infrared-pumped upconversion lasing of praseodymium ions in a fluorozirconate glass fiber at room temperature has been observed in our laboratory at 491,520,605,635, and 715 nm. For all these transitions the initial state is the 3P0 level at 21 000 cm-1, populated by a two-step pumping process using Ti:sapphire lasers at diode compatible wavelengths; 1.01 μm and 835 nm. The observed threshold powers suggest that diode-pumped operation of these upconversion laser transitions should be readily achievable. Elsewhere the use of codoping to pump this system at a single wavelength has also been demonstrated. In waveguide geometry modest pump powers can achieve large transition rates, an important advantage in this system where the intermediate pump level has a lifetime limited by nonradiative decay to 100 μs. The 4-level 635-nm transition, which exhibited the highest gain, yielded a maximum output of 185 mW when pumped by a total of 2.7 W of infrared power. The efficiency of the pumping process was further demonstrated by operation on the quasi-3-level blue transition at 491 nm. Output powers of up to 40 mW have been achieved at this wavelength.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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