Disclosed are heterogeneous crystals for use in a laser cavity and methods of forming the crystals. A crystal can be a monolithic crystal containing regions that are based upon the same host material but differ from one another according to some material feature such that they can perform various functions related to lasing. Disclosed methods include hydrothermal growth techniques for the growth of differing epitaxial layers on a host. A host material can be doped in one region with a suitable active lasing ion and can be formed with another region that is undoped and can act as an endcap, a waveguide cladding layer, or a substrate to provide strength and/or contact to a heat sink. Regions can be formed with controlled thickness in conjunction. Following formation, a heterogeneous crystal can be cut, polished and coated with mirror films at each end for use in a laser cavity.
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