The zigzag optical path slab geometry allows solid state laser systems to be scaled to a higher repetition rate without sacrificing beam quality. We have built a Nd:glass laser with a slab of dimensions of (6 × 60 × 330) mm3 design to operate in a Q-switched mode at 10 J/pulse and 10 pulses/s. The total internal reflection faces of the Nd:glass slab are protected by sapphire windows, and the optical pumping and water cooling are controlled to reduce the thermooptic distortions of the laser beam. Under an electrical power loading of 4 kW we measure a total optical distortion in transmission through the slab of less than one wave across the laser aperture. The laser is operated as a planar Q-switched oscillator with an output pulse length of 40 ns.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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