A larger output energy and higher efficiency laser than the commonly used Nd:YAG laser has been requested for applications to laser material processing. Recently, large-scale, high-optical quality, highly neodymium doped single crystals of gadolinium gallium garnet (Nd:GGG) have been grown in our laboratory. Thermal tensing and thermally induced birefringence due to the absorption of strong pump radiation in a laser rod may affect laser performance because of the lower thermal conductivity of this material. The slab geometry, with a zigzag totally internally reflected optical path, can greatly reduce these effects.
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