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Diode pumping of solid state lasers offers several advantages over the broadband pumping schemes that use CW or pulsed pump sources. The growth in the utilization of diode lasers such as diode arrays or bars to pump solid state lasers results directly from a large-volume production of diode lasers and arrays, which have reduced the cost of delivered power from a semiconductor laser diode. Also, diode laser characteristics such as wavelength stability, overall efficiency, and operational lifetime (10,000 h or more) have been significantly improved during the last decade. This subject has been presented in numerous scientific and technical publications, and was summarized in an excellent review by Hughes et al. and in several books.
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