The phase matching angle of GdCOB crystal is calculated. By using Xenon flash lamp as pump source, we have realized the free run from 1.06 μm to 0.53 μm in self-frequency-doubling Cr:Nd:GdCOB (bi-doped) crystal and Nd:GdCOB (uni-doped) crystal. The experimental results show that the threshold energies for bi-doped crystal and uni-doped crystal are 0.92 J and 1.00 J, respectively; when the pump energy is 10 J, the output energies of green laser for two kinds of crystals are 2.46 mJ and 1.96 mJ, respectively. The output energy of Cr:Nd:GdCOB crystal has an increase of 25% in comparison to that of Nd:Gd:COB crystal. In addition, we discuss ways to improve efficiency. © 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.