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Enhanced efficiency of a continuous-wave mode-locked Nd:YAG laser by compensation of the thermally induced, polarization-dependent bifocal lens

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Abstract

Measurements of the bifocal, thermally induced lenses of a cw Nd:YAG laser were obtained. We observed four different focal lengths that are polarization and direction dependent. The focal lengths were used to design stable resonators with large fundamental mode filling in the laser gain medium. The beam is totally polarized in the desired direction even without an intracavity Brewster window. We developed a general approach for the optimization of single-lamp, cw-pumped Nd:YAG lasers. Up to 22 W of cw output power in the vertically polarized TEM00 mode and 15 W in the horizontal polarization are obtained for moderate lamp currents. Also, we demonstrate mode locking with 56-ps pulse duration at 33 A of lamp current and up to 13 W of average output power.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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