Abstract

Stress-induced birefringence in cw-pumped Nd:YAG rods create stability limitations on the TEM00 polarized mode of a resonant cavity. We present and verify experimentally a thermo-optical model describing a ring cavity containing a birefringent cw-pumped Nd:YAG rod. We use the model, along with experimental evidence, to show that a fundamental TEM00 mode size and pump-power limitation exists for any cw-pumped Nd:YAG laser, implying a maximum allowable TEM00 output. We show that the largest TEM00 mode radius that can be supported in the rod is approximately 1.1 mm and is independent of the physical size of the rod.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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