Ultra-Low Threshold Titanium-Doped Sapphire Whispering-Gallery Laser


Titanium doped sapphire (Ti:sapphire) is a laser gain material with broad gain bandwidth benefiting from the material stability of sapphire. These favorable characteristics of Ti:sapphire have given rise to femtosecond lasers and optical frequency combs. Shaping a single Ti:sapphire crystal into a millimeter sized high quality (Q) whispering gallery mode resonator (Q ≈ 108) reduces the lasing threshold to 14.2 mW and increases the laser slope efficiency to 34%. The observed lasing can be both multi-mode and single-mode. This is the first demonstration of a Ti:sapphire whispering-gallery laser. Furthermore, a novel method of evaluating the gain in Ti:sapphire in the near infrared region is demonstrated by introducing a probe laser with a central wavelength of 795 nm. This method results in decreasing linewidth of the modes excited with the probe laser, consequently increasing their Q. These findings open avenues for the usage of whispering gallery mode resonators as cavities for the implementation of compact Ti:sapphire lasers. Moreover, Ti:sapphire whispering-gallery laser can also be utilized as an amplifier inside its gain bandwidth by implementing a pump–probe configuration.

Advanced Optical Materials
Farhan Azeem
Doctoral Student

I work on Resonat Optics.