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Laser Q switching by a PLZT shutter

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1 Author(s)
M. Landry ; Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA

The application of a polycrystalline ferroelectric ceramic Pb1-xLax(ZryTiz)1-(x/4)O3(called PLZT) electrooptic shutter is described for controlling the giant pulse emission of a ruby laser. The PLZT material had y = 65 percent, z = 35 percent, and the value of x was in the vicinity of 8 percent. Half-wave retardation switching was not possible with the PLZT shutter when 10-ns rise-time 70-ns-duration voltage pulses (fast Q switching) were applied. The increase insertion loss, due to less than half-wave retardation, resulted in laser pulsewidths that were wider and contained less energy than predicted by fast Q -switching theory. Since the PLZT material was damaged at relatively low power densities of between 5.6 to 8.5 MW/cm2, respectively, its use is restricted to Q -switching small output power.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 3 )