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The evaluation of pump capability and scaling the output power of Nd:YVO4 (vanadate) lasers are presented in this paper. Taking into account thermal fracture limitation and fundamental mode operation, systematic investigations of vanadate crystals have been conducted in an effort to scale the output power of diode-pumped lasers to higher levels. Based on the limitation of pump power, the input versus output power and beam propagation factor of vanadate lasers are optimized with knowledge of the thermal lensing effect and maximum pump power. The theoretical analyzes provide a good prediction for the output power of diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 lasers, which is in agreement with the experiment. A practical example of a single-end-pumped vanadate laser is demonstrated with continuous-wave output powers of 9.8 W in the TEMoo mode and 12.4 W in multimode.
Date of Publication: Sep 2002