Abstract

We analyze the temperature distribution in several Yb:YAG longitudinally pumped amplifier crystals by using various cooling configurations. The crystal designs are (i) a composite crystal made of a thin sheet of high-doped Yb:YAG bonded on a bulk piece of undoped YAG and (ii) a thick piece of low-doped Yb:YAG crystal. The cooling configurations investigated here include those both from the rear face or from the rear and side faces together. In every case we determine the average temperature rise, the longitudinal and radial temperature gradient, and the resulting crystal bending and optical phase distortion. We optimize the best cooling configuration and crystal design by compromising the average temperature, thermodeformation, and optical phase distortion. The experimental results also indicate that a thin sheet of gain medium (1.6  mm thick at 10 at. % doping) suffers from a notable bending deformation, which results in an unexpected decrease of the output energy.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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