As always, a number of people took the trouble to make substantive responses. There was a fairly strong consensus that in older Nd:YAG systems the biggest problem is usually with the cladding around the YAG rod that couples the flashlamp light into the rod. Depending on the model, sometimes there are reasonably effective measures. With Quanta-Ray/SpectraPhysics lasers, several people suggested that cleaning of reflective surfaces with dilute HCl solutions was helpful. No similarly effective measure was suggested for old Quantel/Continuum cells. After this, the next cited problem was contaminated and/or deteriorated optical elements in the cavity. Next came limitations due to electronics. It was suggested that voltages at the discharge capacitor be measured directly.
Thanks to all who responded.
New Orleans, LA USA
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