Efficient passively Q-switched operation of diode-pumped Nd:YAG lasers is demonstrated. Applying Cr4+:YAG saturable absorbers, a maximum average output power of more than 800 mW is generated. Pulse energies of 70 μJ, pulse durations below 3 ns and 30 kW peak powers are observed with kHz repetition rates. Single-frequency operation is accomplished for all output powers by a non-planar ring geometry.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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