Abstract

We demonstrate high-performance unidirectional and single-frequency ring-laser operation based on a diode-side-pumped Nd:YVO4 bounce amplifier, obtained in a ring system both with and without a Faraday rotating element. Ring-laser operation with intracavity Faraday unidirectional element produces 15-W cw output in a TEM00 and single-longitudinal mode with beam propagation parameter M 2 < 1.1 with 35-W diode pumping. A novel non-Faraday-based ring laser uses a polarization-dependent output coupler and asymmetric polarization state in the birefringent Nd:YVO4 gain medium and is demonstrated to produce highly unidirectional (1200:1) single-frequency output of 14 W in a TEM00 mode with beam propagation factor M 2 < 1.2 at 30 W of diode pumping.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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