In this paper we present preliminary data from performance measurements of Nd-doped solid state materials. The objective of this effort was to measure in a comparative fashion the characteristics of several relatively new Nd: host materials which affect their usefulness in a practical laser system. Consequently, the scope of the work was limited to those crystals that can be grown in high enough optical quality to merit consideration as near-term alternatives to glass and YAG systems. Throughout the experimental investigations, those trades and issues associated with performance scaling to higher average powers were emphasized. For example, Nd: Cr: GSGG has the highest slope efficiency measured among the materials we have tested, but strong depolarization at moderate pump levels (15 percent single pass loss at 200 W) requires cumbersome resonator design or slab configuration to avoid losses in Q-switched operation or in a subsequent frequency conversion.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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