The difficulty of developing high-energy-storage high-average-power short-wavelength gas lasers has prompted a fundamental reconsideration of solid-state laser media for high-average-power applications. The major issues which must be addressed for high-average-power solid-state lasers are mechanical integrity of the media, beam quality under thermal load, and heat transport. We have endeavored to define approaches where to first order there is no thermally induced lensing or depolarization from birefringence within the optical aperture. Thus these optical characteristics of the beam should not be operating point dependent. We have also endeavored to assure that the heat transport system will not significantly impact the intrinsic laser efficiency.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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