We fabricated and analyzed the output power and polarization characteristics of an efficient diode- side-pumped Nd:YAG rod laser with a diffusive optical cavity. The resonator stability conditions are analyzed graphically in the symmetric and asymmetric configurations for a plane-parallel resonator. On the basis of an analysis of the stability condition and mode size for the r and θ polarizations, we clarify how the stable laser operation is possible for various resonator configurations. In particular, we show that the critical stability region of around g 1*g 2* = 0 provides a stable resonator in the symmetric resonator, even with a slight asymmetry. Experimentally, the output power and polarization characteristics are confirmed in association with the resonator stability condition.
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