We present a novel grazing-incidence composite thin slab laser (CTSL) with an almost aberration-free gain medium. The laser consists of a 260-μm thin Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> plate that is diffusion bonded to an undoped YVO<sub>4</sub> slab. The Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> plate is cooled at just one side, suppressing temperature gradients that would induce wave-front distortions in the laser field. The pump light of a noncollimated diode bar is directly coupled into the undoped YVO<sub>4</sub> slab and guided by total internal reflection to the attached Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> plate. Since any pump-beam-shaping optics can be omitted, the laser is simple and compact. We obtained transverse multimode optical output powers of 14 and 9.3 W with <i>M</i><sup>2</sup> ≤ 1.3.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium
(140.5560) Lasers and laser optics : Pumping
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
H. Zimer, K. Albers, and U. Wittrock, "Grazing-incidence YVO4-Nd:YVO4 composite thin slab laser with low thermo-optic aberrations," Opt. Lett. 29, 2761-2763 (2004)