Abstract

We have demonstrated what we believe is the first continuous wave neodymium-doped potassium gadolinium tungstate crystal (Nd:KGW) laser with hot-band diode pumping at 910  nm. This pumping wavelength reduced the quantum defect by >46% as compared to conventional 810  nm pumping and resulted in significantly lower thermal lensing. The laser produced 2.9 W of average output power at 1067 nm in a diffraction-limited beam for an absorbed pump power of 8.3 W. The slope efficiency and optical-to-optical efficiency were found to be 43% and 35%, respectively. Significant reduction of quantum defect offered by this pumping wavelength and availability of suitable high-power laser diodes opens up an attractive way to further power and efficiency scaling of Nd:KGW lasers.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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