Abstract

Diode pumped zig-zag slab lasers are widely adopted for continuous-wave high power or pulsed high energy applications. Recently [J. Eur. Opt. Soc.-Rapid 6, 11041 (2011)] we started to investigate a new thin slab format in which pumping radiation input is obtained through the thin lateral faces (edge pumping) and the beam propagation takes place bouncing on these same lateral faces (“edge zig-zag”). We report on the optimized operation of a ceramic Nd:YAG laser, based on this geometry, extracting 230 W at a 43% output power to diode power conversion efficiency. Thorough investigation of the thermal lens effect allows us to analyze the optical cavity and thus to define the main aspects limiting the present laser configuration.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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