Side-pumped solid state lasers provide high power operation using laser diode arrays. However, these lasers usually operate with low optical conversion efficiencies of 10-20%1 because most side pumping schemes are not suited for maximizing an absorption of pump power in a small pump volume and, consequently, maximizing population inversion density or laser gain. We have developed a diode pumped Nd:YLF laser using a new side pumping technique. In this laser, pump beams emitted from laser diode array are diffracted approximately parallel to optical axis of laser cavity by reflection type grating (RTG) and are well absorbed in the thin laser crystal. Therefore, this laser operates with high gain.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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