The propagation characteristics of a beam diffracted by a circular aperture are investigated. The beam-quality factor M2 defined by an 86.5% power-content radius is given theoretically and experimentally as a function of the truncation ratio. It is found that the theoretical limit of M2 is 2.37 times as great as that of an incident beam as the truncation ratio approaches 0. For a weakly diffracted beam a simple formula giving M2 is derived. Although M2 does not increase much with diffraction, the influence of diffraction should be taken into account in beam brightness.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(000.4430) General : Numerical approximation and analysis
(030.4070) Coherence and statistical optics : Modes
(050.1220) Diffraction and gratings : Apertures
(260.1960) Physical optics : Diffraction theory
Sho Amano and Takayasu Mochizuki, "Propagation Characteristics of a Diffracted M2 Beam," Appl. Opt. 41, 6325-6331 (2002)