A Three-level Model for Alkali Metal Vapor Lasers. Part II: Broadband Optical Pumping

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The effects of pump laser spectral bandwidth on the performance of longitudinally pumped diode-pumped alkali lasers is explored by extending the analytic, three-level model using longitudinally averaged number densities. By assuming a statistical distribution between the upper two levels, the limiting solution for the quasi-two level system is achieved. A second limiting solution is identified for strongly bleached conditions where the atom recycle rate, limited by spin–orbit relaxation, fully specifies the output power. Performance in the intermediate regime depends significantly on the pump bandwidth relative to the atomic absorption line width and requires numerical simulation. The ratio of populations for the two excited, 2P3/2,1/2 states completes an analytic solution and depends primarily on pump laser bandwidth, threshold, and alkali concentration. Absorption well into the wings on the atomic profile can be utilized by increasing alkali concentration, but imposes increased pump intensity threshold.


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Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics