Abstract

An analytical description of the thermal stress and end-bulging component of thermal lensing is presented for monoclinic laser crystals, taking into account the anisotropy of their optical, thermal, and elastic properties for the first time, to the best of our knowledge. The geometry of longitudinal diode-pumping (plane stress approximation) is considered. The developed approach is applied to the monoclinic double tungstates (MDTs), Yb:KGW, Yb:KYW, and Yb:KLuW, yielding values of normal and shear stresses, tensile stress, and the end-bulging term. We show that for low-symmetry crystals, end-bulging is responsible for the astigmatism of the thermal lens. The geometry of this astigmatism is explained in terms of the principal meridional planes. We show that the crystal cut of the MDTs along the optical indicatrix axis Ng (propagation direction) provides low thermal stress and a purely positive and weakly astigmatic thermal lens, which is a key condition for power scaling and diffraction-limited laser output.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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