A high peak power and high pulse energy passively <i>Q</i>-switched diode-pumped cw Nd:YAG laser at 1.064-μm wavelength has been demonstrated with Cr<sup>4+</sup>:YAG crystal as the saturable absorber. The average output power of 7–12 W and pulse duration of 100–250 ns was obtained with kilohertz repetition rates. The highest peak power and pulse energy obtained were 30 kW and 3.4 mJ, respectively. All the output resulted from the TEM<sub>00</sub> mode with <i>M</i><sup>2</sup> < 1.1. The thermal lensing effect of the saturable absorber was investigated, demonstrating that it played an important role in optimization of the output.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched
(140.5680) Lasers and laser optics : Rare earth and transition metal solid-state lasers
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
Jie Song, Cheng Li, Nam Seong Kim, and Ken-ichi Ueda, "Passively Q-Switched Diode-Pumped Continuous-Wave Nd:YAG-Cr4+:YAG Laser with High Peak Power and High Pulse Energy," Appl. Opt. 39, 4954-4958 (2000)