a 57 W Solar-Pumped Neodymium-Doped YAG Laser
An experiment conducted recently at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has demonstrated world record efficiency for directly solar-pumped lasers. Using the High Flux Solar Furnace test facility and a tailored non -imaging secondary concentrator, a Nd:YAG crystal lased with a peak power of 57 +/- 1 W. With the primary mirror area of 12.12 m^2, each square meter of the mirror surface converted sunlight into nearly 5 W of laser power. This is the highest value ever measured at laser power levels >5 W. Deviations from ideal conditions, such as lack of precision in the furnace's sun tracking and atmospheric effects, can greatly lower performance and stability. Beam quality studies show that high-brightness lasing is achieveable, but that thermal stresses inside the laser crystal led to unforeseen problems. The implications of this experiment on future solar laser research are discussed.
- Pub Date:
- NEODYMIUM DOPED YAG;
- YAG LASER;
- Physics: Optics; Energy