An external-cavity diamond Raman laser generating up to 2.0 W at 1240 nm from 3: 3 W of 1064 nm pump power is investigated as a function of pump polarization direction. The maximum conversion efficiency was 61%, and the slope efficiency of 84% closely approaches the quantum limit of 85.8%. The lowest threshold for Raman lasing is achieved for pump polarization parallel to the < 111 > axis, which we show is consistent with theory.
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