In a method of forming an Nd:YVO.sub.4 laser crystal, a melt of Nd:YVO.sub.4 in a vacuum is provided and an Nd:YVO.sub.4 seed crystal is provided in the vacuum with its c-axis oriented perpendicular to a surface of the melt. While in the vacuum, Nd:YVO.sub.4 from the melt is caused to adhere to the Nd:YVO.sub.4 seed crystal thereby forming an Nd:YVO.sub.4 boule with its c-axis oriented perpendicular to the surface of the melt. A portion of the boule can be removed therefrom to become an Nd:YVO.sub.4 laser crystal having no sub-grain boundaries and/or ghost veils in a cross section thereof perpendicular to the c-axis. This c-axis grown Nd:YVO.sub.4 crystal can be used as the lasing element of a laser.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. N66001-00-C-6008 awarded by the Department of Defense, Joint Electromagnetics Technology Program Office and by the terms of contract No. DE-FG02-04ER46103 awarded by the Department of Energy.