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This Tutorial Text provides an introduction to the design and operation of efficient diode-pumped lasers. The key advantages as well as the limitations of diode pumping are described, and several different types of lasers are presented. The primary goal is to provide the reader with an understanding of the basic components involved in diode pumping. The first part of the book reviews the fundamental design considerations for the laser resonator. Details of the operation and selection of pump laser diodes, diode pump optics, laser resonator configurations, and resonator modes are presented. A significant portion of the text, presented in Part II, centers on the design and performance analysis of a fundamental mode end-pumped laser. The selection criteria and design rationale for each component of the resonator and pump optics are discussed, and the efficiency factors that affect overall laser operation are presented in detail. This basic end-pumped design is an ideal vehicle for understanding how the many concepts involved in diode-pumped laser design play out in an actual operating device, as well as providing a platform for illustrating the diverse applications of this technology. This is covered in Part III of the book. Advanced topics such as power scaling and side-pumping are discussed, as are techniques for efficient diode pumping of gain media other than Nd:YAG, including Cr:LiSAF and laser dyes. In addition, acousto-optic (AO) Q-switched operation, intracavity second harmonic generation (SHG), and single-longitudinal-mode laser output are described. The book is designed to provide the reader with a range of basic skills related to diode pumping. These include the ability to design a basic diode-pumped laser resonator and pump optics using any one of a wide range of gain media, evaluate the potential of a given diode-pumped laser design for meeting specific objectives, differentiate between the various commercially available diode-pumped lasers, distinguish the types of laser diodes used for pumping, and understand the range and scope of current research and development in diode-pumped lasers. This book will be useful for scientists, engineers,and program managers whose professional activities are likely to include working with or developing diodepumped lasers. It is suitable for those wishing to receive an in-depth introduction to the subject, and is relevant as well to laser professionals who desire an overview of this field presented at a relatively advanced level.
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