Solid state lasers have been traditionally fabricated in the form of a pencil-like rod. Under thermal loading, these host rods manifest optical distortions which include thermal focusing, stress induced birefringence and stress induced biaxial focusing.1 These effects can severely degrade the optical quality of the laser output at medium pump powers, and completely extinguish laser action at high pump powers. Clearly the elimination or reduction of these undesirable optical effects is essential to the development of high average power solid state laser systems.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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