A thorough and general geometrical optics analysis of a slab-shaped laser gain medium is presented. The length and thickness ratio is critical if one is to achieve the maximum utilization of absorbed pump power by the laser light in such a medium; e.g., the fill factor inside the slab is to be maximized. We point out that the conditions for a fill factor equal to 1, laser light entering and exiting parallel to the length of the slab, and Brewster angle incidence on the entrance and exit faces cannot all be satisfied at the same time. Deformed slabs are also studied. Deformation along the width direction of the largest surfaces is shown to significantly reduce the fill factor that is possible.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Lasers and Laser Optics
Original Manuscript: January 3, 2006
Revised Manuscript: May 30, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: August 10, 2006
Te-yuan Chung and Michael Bass, "General analysis of slab lasers using geometrical optics," Appl. Opt. 46, 581-590 (2007)