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I see the prices of Nd:YAG rods for lasers, and could someone explain why they are so expensive?

Do they need to be mono-crystalline or something? Will Nd:YAG laser work with amorphous/poly-crystalline rod?

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Nd:glass is amorphous (obviously, it's glass). That's what they use in NIF. I don't know how the price and performance compares. Generically, high-peak-intensity laser parts have exacting specifications because defects and impurities can lead to bad things and vicious cycles: Light absorption can cause further damage, reduced mode quality can cause hot-spots, that can damage not only the rod but everything else the beam touches. –  Steve B Oct 27 '11 at 14:09
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Why do you think the price is so outrageous? I priced a few and they don't seem out of line for a synthesized material, especially something that is a bit of a niche item. Compare the $/volume to something like synthetic diamond... –  user2963 Oct 28 '11 at 0:22
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I don't know about the first question, but the answer to the second one seems to be no, at least for poly-cristalline.

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