MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers

Alan Paterson, Ralf Bauer, Caspar Clark, Deepak Uttamchandani, Walter Lubeigt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper reports the incorporation of low-cost, scanning Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirrors as active Q-switch elements within a solid-state laser cavity. Active Q-switching can be achieved through the rapid scanning of an electro-static, comb-drive actuated micromirror [1]. The use of MEMS devices will allow prospects of miniaturisation of laser systems with lower fabrication costs and energy consumption than common laser Q-switch elements such as acousto-optic or electro-optic devices.
To investigate this, a three-mirror, side-pumped Nd:YAG laser cavity (fig.1) incorporating a resonant MEMS micromirror as an active Q-switch element was constructed. The total optical scanning angle of the electrostatically-actuated micromirror was measured at 75⁰ with a mechanical resonance frequency of 7.905kHz. A gold layer was deposited on the micromirror surface to ensure laser conversion efficiency and reduce thermal build-up within the silicon device. However, this coating process led to a concave surface curvature measured at ROC=0.22m. The micromirror was aligned so that the optimum cavity alignment was normal to the mirror surface. Q-switched output beams were obtained in a dual spot pattern (fig.2) with pulse durations as short as 130ns and pulse energies of up to 3.2μJ. Each individual spot was emitted consecutively with a frequency equal to the mechanical resonance frequency of the micromirror. This is due to the bidirectional nature of the MEMS movement and the time delay (measured at ~400ns) between the pulse emission and the scanning through the optimum alignment position. Moreover, an average timing pulse-to-pulse jitter of ~15ns was measured and the beam quality factor of each beam was measured at M2 =1.1.
We will present a full characterisation of the novel active Q-switching method as well as the initial steps towards the powerscaling of this technique.

Conference

ConferencePhoton 14
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period1/09/144/09/14

Fingerprint

Solid state lasers
Q switching
Scanning
Laser resonators
Switches
Lasers
Mirrors
Beam quality
Electrooptical effects
Jitter
Conversion efficiency
Costs
Optics
Time delay
Energy utilization
Gold
Fabrication
Silicon
Coatings

Keywords

  • micro-electro-mechanical-systems
  • solid state lasers
  • actove Q switching

Cite this

Paterson, A., Bauer, R., Clark, C., Uttamchandani, D., & Lubeigt, W. (2014). MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers. Paper presented at Photon 14, London, United Kingdom.
Paterson, Alan ; Bauer, Ralf ; Clark, Caspar ; Uttamchandani, Deepak ; Lubeigt, Walter. / MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers. Paper presented at Photon 14, London, United Kingdom.
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author = "Alan Paterson and Ralf Bauer and Caspar Clark and Deepak Uttamchandani and Walter Lubeigt",
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Paterson, A, Bauer, R, Clark, C, Uttamchandani, D & Lubeigt, W 2014, 'MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers' Paper presented at Photon 14, London, United Kingdom, 1/09/14 - 4/09/14, .

MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers. / Paterson, Alan; Bauer, Ralf; Clark, Caspar; Uttamchandani, Deepak; Lubeigt, Walter.

2014. Paper presented at Photon 14, London, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers

AU - Paterson, Alan

AU - Bauer, Ralf

AU - Clark, Caspar

AU - Uttamchandani, Deepak

AU - Lubeigt, Walter

PY - 2014/9/3

Y1 - 2014/9/3

N2 - This paper reports the incorporation of low-cost, scanning Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirrors as active Q-switch elements within a solid-state laser cavity. Active Q-switching can be achieved through the rapid scanning of an electro-static, comb-drive actuated micromirror [1]. The use of MEMS devices will allow prospects of miniaturisation of laser systems with lower fabrication costs and energy consumption than common laser Q-switch elements such as acousto-optic or electro-optic devices.To investigate this, a three-mirror, side-pumped Nd:YAG laser cavity (fig.1) incorporating a resonant MEMS micromirror as an active Q-switch element was constructed. The total optical scanning angle of the electrostatically-actuated micromirror was measured at 75⁰ with a mechanical resonance frequency of 7.905kHz. A gold layer was deposited on the micromirror surface to ensure laser conversion efficiency and reduce thermal build-up within the silicon device. However, this coating process led to a concave surface curvature measured at ROC=0.22m. The micromirror was aligned so that the optimum cavity alignment was normal to the mirror surface. Q-switched output beams were obtained in a dual spot pattern (fig.2) with pulse durations as short as 130ns and pulse energies of up to 3.2μJ. Each individual spot was emitted consecutively with a frequency equal to the mechanical resonance frequency of the micromirror. This is due to the bidirectional nature of the MEMS movement and the time delay (measured at ~400ns) between the pulse emission and the scanning through the optimum alignment position. Moreover, an average timing pulse-to-pulse jitter of ~15ns was measured and the beam quality factor of each beam was measured at M2 =1.1.We will present a full characterisation of the novel active Q-switching method as well as the initial steps towards the powerscaling of this technique.

AB - This paper reports the incorporation of low-cost, scanning Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirrors as active Q-switch elements within a solid-state laser cavity. Active Q-switching can be achieved through the rapid scanning of an electro-static, comb-drive actuated micromirror [1]. The use of MEMS devices will allow prospects of miniaturisation of laser systems with lower fabrication costs and energy consumption than common laser Q-switch elements such as acousto-optic or electro-optic devices.To investigate this, a three-mirror, side-pumped Nd:YAG laser cavity (fig.1) incorporating a resonant MEMS micromirror as an active Q-switch element was constructed. The total optical scanning angle of the electrostatically-actuated micromirror was measured at 75⁰ with a mechanical resonance frequency of 7.905kHz. A gold layer was deposited on the micromirror surface to ensure laser conversion efficiency and reduce thermal build-up within the silicon device. However, this coating process led to a concave surface curvature measured at ROC=0.22m. The micromirror was aligned so that the optimum cavity alignment was normal to the mirror surface. Q-switched output beams were obtained in a dual spot pattern (fig.2) with pulse durations as short as 130ns and pulse energies of up to 3.2μJ. Each individual spot was emitted consecutively with a frequency equal to the mechanical resonance frequency of the micromirror. This is due to the bidirectional nature of the MEMS movement and the time delay (measured at ~400ns) between the pulse emission and the scanning through the optimum alignment position. Moreover, an average timing pulse-to-pulse jitter of ~15ns was measured and the beam quality factor of each beam was measured at M2 =1.1.We will present a full characterisation of the novel active Q-switching method as well as the initial steps towards the powerscaling of this technique.

KW - micro-electro-mechanical-systems

KW - solid state lasers

KW - actove Q switching

UR - http://photon14.iopconfs.org/home

M3 - Paper

ER -

Paterson A, Bauer R, Clark C, Uttamchandani D, Lubeigt W. MEMS Q-switched solid-state lasers. 2014. Paper presented at Photon 14, London, United Kingdom.