Based on analytical theory of anisotropy, distributions of thermal distortion and temperature field within a diode-end-pumped rectangular Nd:YVO4 laser crystal are investigated. A thermal model that matches the actual working state of the laser crystal is established by analyzing the working characteristics of the Nd:YVO4 laser crystal. A novel method, to the best of our knowledge, is adopted to solve the heat conduction equation of the anisotropic medium. General solutions of the temperature field, thermal strain field, and thermal distortion field of the Nd:YVO4 crystal are obtained. The effect of anisotropic thermal parameters on the thermal strain field of the Nd:YVO4 laser crystal is also analyzed quantitatively. Research results show that a maximum temperature rise of and a maximum thermal distortion of can be obtained in the center of the pump face when the Nd:YVO4 laser crystal doped with 0.5 at. % is diode end pumped in the center of the front end face with 15 W output power. This method can be applied to other thermal analyses of laser crystals and offers a theoretical basis to solve thermal problems effectively in the laser system.
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