Abstract

In this paper, we present an enhanced high-power extrinsic diode side-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL) model to accurately predict the dynamic operations and pump distribution under different practical conditions. We introduce a new implementation technique for the proposed model that provides a compelling incentive for the performance assessment and enhancement of high-power diode side-pumped Nd:YAG lasers using cooperative agents and by relying on the MATLAB, GLAD, and Zemax ray tracing software packages. A large-signal laser model that includes thermal effects and a modified laser gain formulation and incorporates the geometrical pump distribution for three radially arranged arrays of laser diodes is presented. The design of a customized prototype diode side-pumped high-power laser head fabricated for the purpose of testing is discussed. A detailed comparative experimental and simulation study of the dynamic operation and the beam characteristics that are used to verify the accuracy of the proposed model for analyzing the performance of high-power DPSSLs under different conditions are discussed. The simulated and measured results of power, pump distribution, beam shape, and slope efficiency are shown under different conditions and for a specific case, where the targeted output power is 140 W, while the input pumping power is 400 W. The 95% output coupler reflectivity showed good agreement with the slope efficiency, which is approximately 35%; this assures the robustness of the proposed model to accurately predict the design parameters of practical, high-power DPSSLs.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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