O. Puncken
A. Tünnermann
J. J. Morehead
P. Weßels
M. Frede
J. Neumann
D. Kracht

Intrinsic reduction of the depolarization in Nd:YAG crystals

Opt. Express
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
The output power of linearly polarized Nd:YAG lasers is typically limited by thermally induced birefringence, which causes depolarization. However, this effect can be reduced either by use of some kind of depolarization compensation or by use of crystals which are cut in [110]- and [100]-direction, instead of the common [111]-direction. Investigations of the intrinsic reduction of the depolarization by use of these crystals are presented. To our knowledge, this is the first probe beam-experiment describing a comparison between [100]-, [110]- and [111]-cut Nd:YAG crystals in a pump power regime between 100 and 200 W. It is demonstrated that the depolarization can be reduced by a factor of 6 in [100]-cut crystals. The simulations reveal that a reduction of depolarization by use of a [110]-cut crystal in comparison with a [100]-cut crystal only becomes possible at pump powers in the kW region. Analysis also shows that the bifocusing for [100]-cut is slightly smaller and more asymmetrical than for [111]-cut.