We have fabricated a diode-array end-pumped Yb:YAG rod laser with output powers greater than 200 W cw and 195 W <i>Q</i> -switched at 5 kHz. At an output power of 183 W and a repetition rate of 5 kHz, the beam quality was measured to be <i>M</i><sup>2</sup>=2.4 . The laser design incorporates a hollow lens duct to concentrate the diode pump light for delivery to the end of the laser rod while maintaining access to the laser beam. This configuration provides increased flexibility for the resonator design and permits the use of birefringence compensation in the cavity to yield polarized output with increased efficiency. Using the recently described birefringence compensation method of Clarkson <i>et al</i>. [in <i>Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics</i> (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), paper CTuI3], we obtained 112 W of cw power with a polarized beam of <i>M</i><sup>2</sup>=3.2.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Eric C. Honea, Raymond J. Beach, Scott C. Mitchell, and Petras V. Avizonis, "183-W, M2 = 2.4 Yb:YAG Q-switched laser," Opt. Lett. 24, 154-156 (1999)