Abstract

Thermal lensing was studied in an Ng-cut monoclinic Yb:KY(WO4)2 (Yb:KYW) laser crystal under high-power diode pumping at 980  nm, for the two principal light polarizations, E||Nm and E||Np. For both polarizations, the thermal lens (TL) was positive. It was found that operation of an Yb:KYW laser with the E||Np polarization corresponds to a weaker TL that results in a better quality of the laser beam and superior power scaling capabilities. The sensitivity factors of the TL in this case were M=0.37 and 0.57  m1/W for the mg and pg principal meridional planes, respectively, and the astigmatism degree was as low as S/M=35% (for a pump beam radius of wp=175  μm). The photoelastic terms, fractional heat loading, and generalized thermo-optic coefficients were evaluated.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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