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Single-frequency 571nm VECSEL for photo-ionization of magnesium

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Subtitle of host publicationVertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VI
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419696
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2016
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSPIE Photonics West -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameSPIE Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSPIE Photonics West
Period1/01/00 → …


We report the development of an intracavity-frequency-doubled vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) emitting at 571 nm for photoionization of magnesium. The laser employs a V-cavity geometry with a gain chip at the end of one cavity arm and a lithium triborate (LBO) crystal for second harmonic generation. The gain chip has a bottom-emitting design with ten GaInAs quantum wells of 7 nm thickness, which are strain compensated by GaAsP. The system is capable of producing up to 2.4 ± 0.1 W (total power in two separate output beams) in the visible. The free-running relative intensity noise was measured to be below −55 dBc/Hz over all frequencies from 1 Hz to 1 MHz. With acoustic isolation and temperature regulation of the laser breadboard, the mode-hop free operation time is typically over 5 hrs. To improve the long-term frequency stability, the laser can be locked to a Doppler-free transition of molecular iodine. To estimate the short-term linewidth, the laser was tuned to the resonance of a reference cavity. From analysis of the on-resonance Hänsch-Couillaud error signal we infer a linewidth of 50 ± 10 kHz. Light at 285 nm is generated with an external build-up cavity containing a β-barium borate (BBO) crystal. The UV light is used for loading 25Mg+ ions in a surface-electrode RF Paul trap. These results demonstrate the applicability and versatility of high-power, single-frequency VECSELs with intracavity harmonic generation for applications in atomic and molecular physics.


  • VECSEL, OPSL, SDL, frequency doubling, SHG, ion trapping, single-frequency, photoionization, doppler-free spectroscopy, magnesium

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland