Laser performance and thermal lensing in flashlamp pumped Np-cut and Ng-cut Nd:KGW crystals
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A comparative experimental study of laser performance and thermal lensing properties in a flashlamp pumped Nd:KGW crystal cut for the light propagating along the optical indicatrix axes Np and Ng is presented. It was found that for both, the Np-cut Nd:KGW and Ng-cut Nd:KGW thermal lens is astigmatic with astigmatism degree being determined mainly by the thermal expansion anisotropy in KGW. The thermal lens in the Ng-cut Nd:KGW is positive, while in the Np-cut Nd:KGW it has different signs for rays lying in two different meridional planes. The sensitivity factors show how much the thermal lens optical power of a laser rod changes with pump power are determined. The results show that the Ng-cut Nd:KGW allows one to obtain higher average output powers at high pump levels as compared to the Np-cut Nd:KGW.
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