By exploiting a more favourable surface/volume ratio for heat exchange and pump absorption distribution over significantly increased length, single crystal fibers (SCF) are considered promising candidate as a replacement for bulk crystals in high-power laser systems. So far, micro-pulling down (µ-PD) technique was successfully employed mainly in growing cubic crystals, most impressive results being obtained with Yb:YAG . Birefringent SCF are also attractive, as they provide a quite straightforward means of avoiding beam quality degradation at high thermal load due to depolarization. The first Nd:YLF laser based on fiber crystals was reported in . However, from the perspective of high-power applications, Ytterbium-doped materials are definitely more interesting, owing to the much smaller quantum defect and absence of excited-state absorption.
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