Unidirectional single-mode operation of a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser with a planar semimonolithic ring cavity has been demonstrated at 1064 nm. The semimonolithic cavity consists of a laser active medium placed in a magnetic field, a crystal quartz plate, and an output coupling mirror, which form an optical diode by acting as a Faraday rotator, a reciprocal polarization rotator, and a partial polarizer, respectively. A single-mode output power of 155 mW and a slope efficiency of 17% were obtained with a 1.2-W diode laser at 809 nm. A laser linewidth of less than 100 kHz is inferred from a beat note frequency spectrum between two identical laser systems and continuous tuning to greater than 2 GHz was observed. (C) 1999 Optical Society of America. OCIS codes: 140.3530, 140.3560, 140.3570, 140.3580.