Active q-switched Nd: YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In this paper we present the latest investigation on the use of electrostatic resonantly actuated Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirrors as active Q-switch elements in diode-pumped solid-state lasers. Micromirror-based Q-switches have the potential to become a low-cost and miniature replacement to traditional acousto-optic and electro-optic Q-switches. The MEMS mirrors were fabricated using a commercial multi-user silicon-on-insulator process with a single 25um thick layer. Using a 200Vp-p signal, the electrostatic comb-drive was actuated to generate a torsional resonant mode of the 0.7mm-diameter silicon micromirror. A maximum full optical scan angle of 39° was measured at a frequency of 8.82 kHz. A 500nm thick gold coating was deposited on the silicon micromirror surface resulting in a measured reflectivity of 87% at 1064nm, therefore enabling intra-cavity laser use. A laser-diode side-pumped Nd:YAG resonator was built using a 3 mirror configuration, with the MEMS micromirror as a cavity end-mirror, and a 20% output-coupler at the other end. Q-switched operation was achieved with average output powers of 65mW at a pulse repetition rate of 17.64Hz. The pulse durations measured at 105 ns was within 5% of the theoretical minimum pulse width expected in this type of laser configuration. The average output power was limited by thermal damage to the gold coating on the micromirror. The latest results on the power-scaling of
these lasers, including results achieved using alternative dielectrically-coated MEMS micromirrors, will be presented and the challenges faced by this technique discussed.
LanguageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2012
EventPhoton 12 - Durham, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20126 Sep 2012

Conference

ConferencePhoton 12
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityDurham
Period3/09/126/09/12

Fingerprint

gold coatings
YAG lasers
switches
mirrors
output
pulse duration
silicon
electrostatics
pulse repetition rate
acousto-optics
configurations
solid state lasers
laser cavities
yttrium-aluminum garnet
couplers
electro-optics
lasers
resonators
semiconductor lasers
diodes

Keywords

  • electrostatic resonantly actuated
  • micro-electro-mechanical-systems
  • micromirrors
  • MEMS
  • active Q-switch elements
  • diode-pumped
  • solid-state lasers
  • traditional
  • acousto-optic
  • electro-optic
  • Q-switches

Cite this

Bauer, R., Lubeigt, W., & Uttamchandani, D. (2012). Active q-switched Nd: YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors. Paper presented at Photon 12, Durham, United Kingdom.
Bauer, Ralf ; Lubeigt, Walter ; Uttamchandani, Deepak. / Active q-switched Nd : YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors. Paper presented at Photon 12, Durham, United Kingdom.
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keywords = "electrostatic resonantly actuated, micro-electro-mechanical-systems , micromirrors, MEMS, active Q-switch elements, diode-pumped, solid-state lasers, traditional, acousto-optic , electro-optic , Q-switches",
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year = "2012",
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Bauer, R, Lubeigt, W & Uttamchandani, D 2012, 'Active q-switched Nd: YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors' Paper presented at Photon 12, Durham, United Kingdom, 3/09/12 - 6/09/12, .

Active q-switched Nd : YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors. / Bauer, Ralf; Lubeigt, Walter; Uttamchandani, Deepak.

2012. Paper presented at Photon 12, Durham, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Active q-switched Nd

T2 - YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors

AU - Bauer, Ralf

AU - Lubeigt, Walter

AU - Uttamchandani, Deepak

PY - 2012/9/3

Y1 - 2012/9/3

N2 - In this paper we present the latest investigation on the use of electrostatic resonantly actuated Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirrors as active Q-switch elements in diode-pumped solid-state lasers. Micromirror-based Q-switches have the potential to become a low-cost and miniature replacement to traditional acousto-optic and electro-optic Q-switches. The MEMS mirrors were fabricated using a commercial multi-user silicon-on-insulator process with a single 25um thick layer. Using a 200Vp-p signal, the electrostatic comb-drive was actuated to generate a torsional resonant mode of the 0.7mm-diameter silicon micromirror. A maximum full optical scan angle of 39° was measured at a frequency of 8.82 kHz. A 500nm thick gold coating was deposited on the silicon micromirror surface resulting in a measured reflectivity of 87% at 1064nm, therefore enabling intra-cavity laser use. A laser-diode side-pumped Nd:YAG resonator was built using a 3 mirror configuration, with the MEMS micromirror as a cavity end-mirror, and a 20% output-coupler at the other end. Q-switched operation was achieved with average output powers of 65mW at a pulse repetition rate of 17.64Hz. The pulse durations measured at 105 ns was within 5% of the theoretical minimum pulse width expected in this type of laser configuration. The average output power was limited by thermal damage to the gold coating on the micromirror. The latest results on the power-scaling ofthese lasers, including results achieved using alternative dielectrically-coated MEMS micromirrors, will be presented and the challenges faced by this technique discussed.

AB - In this paper we present the latest investigation on the use of electrostatic resonantly actuated Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirrors as active Q-switch elements in diode-pumped solid-state lasers. Micromirror-based Q-switches have the potential to become a low-cost and miniature replacement to traditional acousto-optic and electro-optic Q-switches. The MEMS mirrors were fabricated using a commercial multi-user silicon-on-insulator process with a single 25um thick layer. Using a 200Vp-p signal, the electrostatic comb-drive was actuated to generate a torsional resonant mode of the 0.7mm-diameter silicon micromirror. A maximum full optical scan angle of 39° was measured at a frequency of 8.82 kHz. A 500nm thick gold coating was deposited on the silicon micromirror surface resulting in a measured reflectivity of 87% at 1064nm, therefore enabling intra-cavity laser use. A laser-diode side-pumped Nd:YAG resonator was built using a 3 mirror configuration, with the MEMS micromirror as a cavity end-mirror, and a 20% output-coupler at the other end. Q-switched operation was achieved with average output powers of 65mW at a pulse repetition rate of 17.64Hz. The pulse durations measured at 105 ns was within 5% of the theoretical minimum pulse width expected in this type of laser configuration. The average output power was limited by thermal damage to the gold coating on the micromirror. The latest results on the power-scaling ofthese lasers, including results achieved using alternative dielectrically-coated MEMS micromirrors, will be presented and the challenges faced by this technique discussed.

KW - electrostatic resonantly actuated

KW - micro-electro-mechanical-systems

KW - micromirrors

KW - MEMS

KW - active Q-switch elements

KW - diode-pumped

KW - solid-state lasers

KW - traditional

KW - acousto-optic

KW - electro-optic

KW - Q-switches

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M3 - Paper

ER -

Bauer R, Lubeigt W, Uttamchandani D. Active q-switched Nd: YAG laser using MEMS micromirrors. 2012. Paper presented at Photon 12, Durham, United Kingdom.