We describe the development of Nd:YVO4 lasers with continuous wave emission at 1.342 μm; theycon tain either
one or two crystals which are longitudinally pumped by fiber-coupled diode laser arrays. The two systems deliver respectively 7.3 and 12.1 W of output power. The best slope efficiency is 40% and the output beam divergence is about two times the diffraction limit. The influence of the Nd concentration, of the pump spot-size, and of the resonator configuration on the lasing performances have been experimentally studied. We also present and discuss data on spectroscopic properties of the crystals and on the thermally induced lens.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.