Abstract

A large aspheric fused silica lens was used to couple efficiently the concentrated solar radiation from the focal zone of a 1.5-m-diameter primary concentrator into a 4-mm-diameter, 35-mm-long Nd:YAG single-crystal rod within a conical pump cavity. Continuous-wave laser power of 29.3 W was measured, attaining 25.0  W/m2 solar laser collection efficiency, corresponding to a 19% increase over the previous record. Its laser beam figure of merit—the ratio between laser power and the product of Mx2, My2 beam quality factors—of 0.01 W is 1.6 times higher than that of a direct tracking solar laser with 30  W/m2 collection efficiency. A strong dependency of solar laser power on laser resonator cavity length was found.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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