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Abstract content <br> (Max 300 words)<br><a href="http://events.saip.org.za/getFile.py/access?resId=0&materialId=0&confId=34" target="_blank">Formatting &<br>Special chars</a>
We introduce a new technique of Electro-Optic Q-switching which exploits the polarization dependence of a uniaxial gain medium. Conventional Electro-Optic Q-switched cavities require both a polarizer and a wave plate in addition to an Electro-Optic Modulator (EOM) which rotates the beam polarization within a few nano-seconds. The new technique eliminates the need for a polarizer, which is an advantage for short pulse, high peak power Q switched lasers. This is because polarizers are susceptible to damage and can significantly lengthen the cavity, which increases the output pulse length.
Uniaxial gain materials like Nd:YVO4 have different thermo-dioptric constants in two crystallographic directions, which causes the two polarization states to experience different thermal lens strengths for a-cut crystals. The cavity can be switched between stable and unstable states by rotating the polarization with a Pockels cell. The results in a rapid change in the cavity quality, which Q-switches the resonator.
The presentation will first review conventional Electro-Optic Q-switched methods after which the new technique will be introduced. It will then be shown how the new technique was implemented in a short Nd:YVO4 cavity. The experiments confirmed that the new technique is viable and operating regimes, advantages and disadvantages of the new technique will be presented.