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I find on Wikipedia that Nd:YAG absorbs mostly in the bands between 730–760 nm and 790–820 nm, and are pumped with flash tube or laser diodes. Couldn't it get pumped with normal near IR power LEDs (730nm) ?

What optical output could I expect, if I tried to pump such a rod, with a row of 10×10w power LEDs in an elliptic reflector ?

Also, those lasers radiates at 1064nm. What kind of material is OK to use for lenses and mirrors at that wavelength ?

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    $\begingroup$ Works for green laser pointers... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 23 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster I thought those were pumped with 808 nm laser diodes. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Jun 23 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @EdV - Could well be the case, particularly now. But rattling around in the back of my brain is early models, before cheap laser diodes made them the go-to driver. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 23 at 13:06

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We actually did this way way back in the dawn of timeXXXX my professional career. We were producing flashlamp-pumped Nd:YAG lasers for the DoD and investigating alternative approaches. In general, you can get much higher population inversions with flashlamps, so it depends a bit on whether you want a high peak-power pulse or a more stable (and less energy-wasting) CW output.

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  • $\begingroup$ I fact, I'm interested in continuous output and I wondered if it would be possible to get enough power to make some IR wood cutting or engraving with such a method, with a mobile head, instead of the annoying mirror arrangement used with CO₂ lasers. $\endgroup$
    – Camion
    Jun 23 at 16:55
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To answer the question about optics, standard glass (e.g. fused silica or BK-7) works for lenses, windows, etc at 1064 nm. For mirrors, gold- and silver-coated substrates would be pretty good, although dielectric mirrors would have even better reflectivity.

Get appropriate laser goggles.

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  • $\begingroup$ Any Idea if a lens made of (a good and well polished) transparent UV resin could work ? $\endgroup$
    – Camion
    Jun 24 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Camion it just needs to have low absorption at 1064 nm, and then it needs to be shaped well. See if you can find absorption data. $\endgroup$
    – Gilbert
    Jun 24 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ That's the problem : I have no idea where I could find this kind of info. $\endgroup$
    – Camion
    Jun 25 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ Google the kind of resin you have with “absorption spectrum”, then look for a graph of absorption vs wavelength which includes 1064 nm. Maybe somebody published a study. Also, possibly the manufacturer would have the data. Keep in mind that a lens would be a few to several mm thick. If you have no luck, then you might just have to test it yourself. But in my brief scan for absorption of epoxies, they are generally pretty transparent at 1064 nm. $\endgroup$
    – Gilbert
    Jun 25 at 19:50

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