A fraction of pump power has been converted to TEM<sub>00</sub> mode laser power for a side-pumped solid-state laser by use of a space-dependent rate equation. We investigated the pump-to-mode (TEM<sub>00</sub>) ratio when scaling laser-diode side-pumped solid-state lasers to high-power levels by including the thermal effect in the space-dependent rate equation. Based on the assumption that Gaussian pump power is the same at any cross section of a laser rod, we resolved the output power with a space-dependent rate equation; temperature distribution in the laser rod was obtained; the optical path difference distribution was derived, and we estimated the diffraction losses that result from thermally induced spherical aberration by use of the Strehl intensity ratio. We determined that thermally induced diffraction losses are strongly dependent on pump power and on the pump-to-mode ratio.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Wenjie Xie, Siu-Chung Tam, Yee-Loy Lam, Jingang Liu, Hongru Yang, Jianhui Gu, and Wilson Tan, "Influence of the Thermal Effect on the TEM00 Mode Output Power of a Laser-Diode Side-Pumped Solid-State Laser," Appl. Opt. 39, 5482-5487 (2000)