The thin disk laser concept is an innovative laser concept for diode pumped solid state lasers with highest output power, highest efficiency and best beam quality, simultaneously. Nearly all operational modes of solid state lasers like continuous wave, pulsed operation with pulse durations between femtoseconds and microseconds and laser amplifiers can be built with this design with better properties compared to other designs. The principle ideas of the thin disk laser design will be illustrated. Results for cw- and q-switched operation as well as for amplification of short (ns) and ultra-short (ps, fs) pulses demonstrate the potential of the thin disk laser design. The scaling laws for this laser design show that the power limit for cw-operation is far beyond 10 kW for one single disk and the energy limit is higher than 1 J from one disk in pulsed operation. Finally, a short overview of the industrial realization of the thin disk laser technology will be given.

© 2007 IEEE

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