We report the first operation of a direct diode‐pumped tunable chromium‐doped solid‐state laser. A small alexandrite (Cr:BeAl2O4) crystal was longitudinally pumped by two visible laser diodes. The threshold pump power was 12 mW using the R1 line at 680.4 nm for the pump transition, and the slope efficiency was 25%. The measured laser output bandwidth was 2.1 nm.

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