High-power room-temperature operation of an Er:YAG laser at 1617 nm in-band pumped by a cladding-pumped Er,Yb fiber laser at 1532 nm is reported. The Er:YAG laser yielded 31 W of continuous-wave output in a beam with M2.2.2 for 72 W of incident pump power. The threshold pump power was 4.1 W and the slope efficiency with respect to incident pump power was ~47 %. The influence of erbium doping level and resonator design on laser performance is discussed, and the prospects for further increase in output power and improvement in lasing efficiency are considered
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