Conventional solid-state lasers are pumped by a flashlamp. The lifetime of the lamp is generally shorter than 400 hours and the coupling efficiency of the lamp power into the laser crystal is very low (normally less than 3%), resulting in various undesirable effects such as serious thermal lensing, bad beam quality, bulky physical size and frequent replacement of the flashlamps. Solid-state lasers have undergone a renaissance since the development of reliable and cheap diode lasers, which can be used as pump sources. It has led to a new class of diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers which have been demonstrated to be highly efficient, reliable, and are attractive for a wide range of applications. DPSS lasers take the advantages of both flashlamp-pumped solid-state lasers and diode lasers, and therefore exhibit more advantages as follows:
High optical-to-optical conversion efficiency (>50%);
Good laser beam quality (M2 ~1.1);
Stable output laser power (±1%);
Low maintenance or maintenance-free;
Compact in size.