Efficient solar-pumped Nd:YAG laser by a double-stage light-guide/V-groove cavity

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Abstract

Since the first reported Nd:YAG solar laser, researchers have been exploiting parabolic mirrors and heliostats for enhancing laser output performance. We are now investigating the production of an efficient solar-pumped laser for the reduction of magnesium from magnesium oxide, which could be an alternative solution to fossil fuel. Therefore both high conversion efficiency and excellent beam quality are imperative. By using a single fused silica light guide of rectangular cross section, highly concentrated solar radiation at the focal spot of a stationary parabolic mirror is efficiently transferred to a water-flooded V-groove pump cavity. It allows for the double-pass absorption of pump light along a 4mm diameter, 30mm length, 1.1at% Nd:YAG rod. Optimum pumping parameters and solar laser output power are found through ZEMAX™ non-sequential ray-tracing and LASCAD™ laser cavity analysis. 11.0 W of multimode laser output power with excellent beam profile is numerically calculated, corresponding to 6.1W/m2 collection efficiency. To validate the proposed pumping scheme, an experimental setup of the double-stage light-guide/V-groove cavity was built. 78% of highly concentrated solar radiation was efficiently transmitted by the fused silica light guide. The proposed pumping scheme can be an effective solution for enhancing solar laser performances when compared to other side-pump configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
EditorsM. F. M. Costa
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering
ISBN (Print)978-0-81948-575-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics - Braga, Portugal
Duration: 3 May 20117 May 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume8001
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
CountryPortugal
CityBraga
Period3/05/117/05/11

Keywords

  • light-guide
  • Nd:YAG solar laser
  • pumping
  • V-groove cavity

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