We report on the performance of a multipass diode-pumped amplifier design to provide a combination of high gain and efficiency with high stability. A simple rod-cavity design and the establishment of quasi-steady-state operation resulted in a saturated gain of over 6000 at an average output intensity during the pulse train of 7 kW/cm<sup>2</sup>. The amplifier showed an output stability of 0.2% rms in the short term and 0.7% rms in the long term and an output intensity insensitive to input power changes. Zernike analysis of the measurements of pump distortion showed an almost pure astigmatic phase error that can be compensated up to high average power levels.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(140.3280) Lasers and laser optics : Laser amplifiers
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.3580) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, solid-state
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
Ian N. Ross, Marta Csatári, and Steve Hutchins, "High-Performance Diode-Pumped Nd:YLF Amplifier," Appl. Opt. 42, 1040-1047 (2003)