Nd:GdVO<sub>4</sub> crystal was grown by the Czochralski method. The absorption and fluorescence spectra of the crystal were measured at room temperature. The thermal expansion and the specific heat of the crystal were also measured. Laser outputs at 1.06 and 1.34 μm were achieved when a Nd:GdVO<sub>4</sub> crystal sample with a high Nd doping concentration was pumped by a low-power laser diode (LD) at 808.5 nm, and visible green and red laser outputs of intracavity frequency doubling at 0.53 and 0.67 μm were also achieved when nonlinear KTiOPO<sub>4</sub> and LiB<sub>3</sub>O<sub>5</sub> crystal, respectively, were used. The highly Nd-doped Nd:GdVO<sub>4</sub> crystal was pumped by a high-power LD, and a greater than 5-W laser output power at 1.06 μm was obtained. A low-Nd-doping concentration Nd:GdVO<sub>4</sub> crystal sample was pumped by a high-power LD, yielding laser output powers at 1.06 and 0.53 μm; 0.53-μm green laser output was obtained when a KTiOPO<sub>4</sub> crystal was used, and the output beam’s values were M<sup>2</sup>=1.76 at an output power of 14.3 W at 1.06 μm and M<sup>2</sup>=1.55 at an output power of 3.3 W at 0.53 μm. Acousto-optical <i>Q</i>-switched laser outputs at 1.06 and 0.53 μm were also achieved. A thermal lens made from a Nd:GdVO<sub>4</sub> crystal was measured; it was weaker than that of a Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> crystal. Some important material parameters, such as temperature-induced changes in refractive index, material constant, thermal-stress resistance figure of merit, and power per unit length at the stress fracture limit, have been estimated.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Huaijin Zhang, Junhai Liu, Jiyang Wang, Changqing Wang, Li Zhu, Zongshu Shao, Xianlin Meng, Xiaobo Hu, Minhua Jiang, and Yuk Tak Chow, "Characterization of the laser crystal Nd:GdVO4," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19, 18-27 (2002)