Integral and peak spontaneous Raman scattering cross sections for different orientation in GdVO<sub>4</sub> and YVO<sub>4</sub> crystals were measured to be up to 2 times higher in comparison with KGd(WO<sub>4</sub>)<sub>2</sub> crystal. Stimulated Raman scattering threshold measurements under 11 ps pulse pumping were fulfilled. Self-Raman frequency conversion in diode pumped LiF:F<sub>2</sub> <sup>-</sup> passively Q-switched Nd<sup>3+</sup>:GdVO<sub>4</sub> laser was demonstrated. The output pulse duration as short as 500 ps was obtained at the 1<sup>st</sup> Stokes wavelength (1174 nm). Diode-to-Raman optical conversion efficiency of more than 2 % was obtained at the pulse peak power of 9 kW.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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