Various four-mirror optical resonators are studied from the perspective of realizing passive stacking cavities. A comparative study of the mechanical stability is provided. The polarization properties of the cavity eigenmodes are described, and it is shown that the effect of mirror misalignments (or motions) induces polarization and stacking power instabilities. These instabilities increase with the finesse of the Fabry–Perot cavity. A tetrahedral configuration of the four mirrors is found to minimize the consequences of the mirrors’ motion and misalignment by reducing the instability parameter by at least 2 orders of magnitude.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 22, 2009
Revised Manuscript: October 22, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: October 26, 2009
Published: December 1, 2009
Fabian Zomer, Yasmina Fedala, Nicolas Pavloff, Viktor Soskov, and Alessandro Variola, "Polarization induced instabilities in external four-mirror Fabry-Perot cavities," Appl. Opt. 48, 6651-6661 (2009)