Abstract

A simple approach for alleviating thermal lensing in end-pumped solid-state lasers using a pump beam with a ring-shaped intensity distribution to decrease the radial temperature gradient is described. This scheme has been implemented in a diode-end-pumped Nd:YVO4 laser yielding 14 W of TEM00 output at 1.064 μm with a corresponding slope efficiency of 53% and a beam propagation factor (M2) of 1.08 limited by available pump power. By comparison, the same laser design with a conventional quasi-top-hat pump beam profile of approximately equal radial extent yielded only 9 W of output before the power rolled over due to thermal lensing. Further investigation with the aid of a probe beam revealed that the thermal lens power was 30% smaller for the ring-shaped pump beam compared to the quasi-top-hat beam. The implications for further power scaling in end-pumped laser configurations are considered.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
» Data File 1       Data for measured output power, thermal lens power and beam quality factor.

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