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Power performance of a continuous-wave Cr/sup 2+/:ZnSe laser was investigated experimentally and numerically at 2.47 /spl mu/m. In the experiments, an astigmatically compensated z-cavity with a 3% transmitting output coupler produced as high as 250 mW of output power when excited by a NaCl:OH/sup $/color-center laser at 1.58 /spl mu/m. The measured absorbed power slope efficiency was 24.2%. Experimental pump absorption saturation and laser efficiency data were analyzed by using a numerical model to determine the absorption, emission, and excited-state absorption cross-sections. Simulations were then performed to investigate the dependence of the output power on crystal and resonator parameters. Results indicate that optimum power performance should be obtained with a 1.5-cm-long crystal which has a total unsaturated absorption of 86%. Finally, the optimum output coupling of the resonator was determined to be 10%.