Laser performance and thermal lensing in high-power diode-pumped Yb:KGW with athermal orientation
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- Hellström, J., Bjurshagen, S. & Pasiskevicius, V. Appl. Phys. B (2006) 83: 55. doi:10.1007/s00340-005-2115-8
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A comparative, experimental study of the high-power diode-pumped laser performance and thermal lensing properties between standard b-cut Yb:KGW and Yb:KGW cut along an athermal direction is presented. The results show that thermal lens properties in both the b-cut and the athermal direction-cut crystals are determined by anisotropic thermal expansion in Yb:KGW. Thermal gradients due to the pump beam cause thermal lensing even in the athermal direction-cut geometry. The thermal lens is much weaker and less astigmatic in the athermal direction-cut crystal, for the same absorbed power. These properties allow generation of better-quality laser beams with the athermal direction-cut crystal as compared to the b-cut crystal.