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Appl Opt. 1993 Mar 20;32(9):1517-27. doi: 10.1364/AO.32.001517.

Modeling of the gain distribution for diode pumping of a solid-state laser rod with nonimaging optics.


We investigate the absorption distribution in a cylindrical gain medium that is pumped by a source of distributed laser diodes by means of a pump cavity developed from the edge-ray principle of nonimaging optics. The performance of this pumping arrangement is studied by using a nonsequential, numerical, three-dimensional ray-tracing scheme. A figure of merit is defined for the pump cavities that takes into account the coupling efficiency and uniformity of the absorption distribution. It is found that the nonimaging pump cavity maintains a high coupling efficiency with extended two-dimensional diode arrays and obtains a fairly uniform absorption distribution. The nonimaging cavity is compared with two other designs: a close-coupled side-pumped cavity and an imaging design in the form of a elliptical cavity. The nonimaging cavity has a better figure of merit per diode than these two designs. It also permits the use of an extended, sparse, two-dimensional diode array, which reduces thermal loading of the source and eliminates all cavity optics other than the main reflector.

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