For maximizing TEM00 solar laser power, a modified light guide assembly-elliptical cavity pumping approach is proposed. By observing refractive and total internal reflection principles, highly concentrated solar radiations from a primary parabolic mirror are firstly collected by a near-hexagonal input face and then transmitted, at low propagation angles, to a near-rectangular output end of the modified assembly. A sharp elliptical pump cavity with an intervening optics is utilized to further couple and concentrate the radiations from the assembly to a thin Nd:YAG rod. Optimum pumping parameters are found through ZEMAX (TM) non-sequential ray-tracing and LASCAD (TM) laser cavity analysis. Compared with the output performances of the parallel-packed light guide assembly-elliptical-cylindrical cavity, 45% increase in TEM00, 10% in multimode solar laser powers are attained by the proposed approach. Experimental results on both the enhanced transmission efficiency of the assembly and the improved focusing capacity of the elliptical cavity with are finally provided. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.