Abstract

It is demonstrated that 2% Yb:CaGdAlO4 (called CAlGO) presents favorable thermomechanical properties with a high measured thermal conductivity (??c=6.3 and ??c=6.9?Wm?1K?1). A laser oscillation in this material at 1016?nm is demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge while pumping at 979?nm. This implies a very small quantum defect (3.5%). A simple new figure of merit that takes into account thermomechanical properties and quantum defects is proposed here to compare the resistance of materials under high-power laser pumping. Consequently, Yb:CAlGO is similar to garnets and sesquioxides in regard to laser power resistance.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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