Cr:YAG (Chromium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) is a popular Q-switching crystal used in solid-state lasers. Q-switching is a technique that involves producing high-intensity, short-duration laser pulses by rapidly switching the laser on and off.

Cr:YAG operates by absorbing energy from the pump source, typically a flashlamp or a diode laser, and then releasing that energy in the form of laser light when the Q-switch is opened. The Q-switching mechanism is achieved through the use of a saturable absorber, which allows the laser to build up energy until it reaches a certain threshold, at which point the Q-switch is opened and the laser is allowed to fire.

The chromium dopant in Cr:YAG is responsible for creating the saturable absorber effect. The chromium ions in the crystal lattice absorb light at a specific wavelength, and as the intensity of the laser light increases, the absorption of the chromium ions decreases. This means that the laser pulse can build up in intensity until the Q-switch is opened, allowing the pulse to be released in a short burst.

Cr:YAG has several advantages as a Q-switching crystal. It has a broad absorption spectrum, which means that it can be pumped with a variety of different laser sources. It also has a high damage threshold and excellent thermal conductivity, which make it well-suited for high-power laser applications.

In addition to its use in Q-switched lasers, Cr:YAG can also be used in other applications such as laser marking, laser welding, and laser cutting. Its ability to produce high-intensity, short-duration laser pulses makes it a valuable tool in a wide range of industrial and scientific applications.

Wavelength, nm
950 - 1100
Initial transmittance, %
15 - 90
Initial absorption coefficient, cm-1
0.05 - 3.00@1.064
> 8 - 10
Dopant level, cm-3
Relax. time of the exited state (4A2 !’ 4T1(4F) absorption), ns
Relax. time of the exited state (3T2 !’ 3A2 absorption), ns
Ground-state absorption cross-section, cm2
Excited-state absorption cross-section, cm2
Optical length, mm
1 - 40
Diameter, mm
5 - 12

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