Single-end-pumped laser performance of 2, 4, and 6at.% Tm-doped YLF rods is reported. For the pumping configuration employed, crystal fracture was observed to occur for a thermal load per unit absorption length of ~13W/cm. The 2at.% Tm-doped crystal was found to have a quantum yield of ~90% of that of 4at.% Tm. However, due to a lower thermal loading density, the maximum possible incident pump power is predicted to be >60% higher, hence offering a greater output power per rod for the lower doping concentration. Power scaling considerations are discussed with reference to cross-relaxation, upconversion, and thermal loading of the host crystal.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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