An analytical model is developed for optimizing two key parameters of an external passive Q-switch in a fiber laser from the criterion of the minimum average mode area inside the saturable absorber. One parameter is the optimum focal position that is analytically derived to be a function of the thickness and initial transmission of the saturable absorber. The other parameter is the optimum magnification of the reimaging optics that is analytically derived to be in terms of the numerical aperture and core radius of the laser fiber as well as the thickness and initial transmission of the saturable absorber. To demonstrate the utilization of the present model, an experiment on the subject of the passively Q-switched fiber laser is performed and optimized.
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