, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 413-418
Date: 04 Jan 2006

Thermal Lensing of Edge-pumped Slab Lasers-I

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We present realistic calculations of thermal lensing in edge-pumped, Yb3+ doped yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG), slab lasers for both straight-through and zigzag propagation. Using ray tracing and finite element analysis we simulate the distributions of absorbed pump power, temperature, and stress. From these results we numerically calculate the induced lensing due to thermal and stress gradients. Effects on induced lensing of gaps in the diode pump source array and due to bonding undoped host crystal to the slab edges are presented.