We present modeling studies of quasi-three-level laser oscillators, the validity of which was revealed by Ti:Al2O3-pumped Yb:YAG laser experiments, and these results are shown to be in excellent agreement with the theory. As much as 75% slope efficiency was obtained with a hemispherical laser cavity. Previous modeling calculations of laser performance have been valid only for certain special cases, restricting application to TEM00 Gaussian beam pumping and lasing profiles. This analysis may be applied to other longitudinally pumped quasi-three-level laser media in which the modes are not only TEM00 Gaussian beams but also other higher-order transverse modes, including the top-hat pumping profile that can be used to model transverse pumping schemes.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 25, 1995
Revised Manuscript: April 10, 1996
Published: March 20, 1997
Takunori Taira, William M. Tulloch, and Robert L. Byer, "Modeling of quasi-three-level lasers and operation of cw Yb:YAG lasers," Appl. Opt. 36, 1867-1874 (1997)