The effectiveness of a reverse wave suppressor (RWS) mirror in an unstable ring resonator has been investigated theoretically and experimentally for the case of an inhomogeneously broadened gain medium. The theory indicates that the RWS mirror is effective when (δ/Δνh)2 ≪ 1, where Δνh is the characteristic homogeneous linewidth of the gain medium and δ = Δu(ν0/c) is a measure of the separation between competing forward and reverse waves. Unstable linear ring resonator experiments were conducted using a continuous wave HF laser. Successful suppression of the reverse wave was achieved. In these tests the ratio of forward to reverse power had an average value of 41. An unstable annular ring resonator was investigated using a pulsed CO2 laser. Reverse wave suppression was achieved when the resonator and RWS mirror were in good alignment. Suppression effectiveness and beam quality were degraded when the RWS mirror was tilted.
© 1984 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 20, 1984
Published: December 15, 1984
Harold Mirels, Richard A. Chodzko, Jay M. Bernard, Robert R. Giedt, and John G. Coffer, "Reverse wave suppression in unstable ring resonator," Appl. Opt. 23, 4509-4517 (1984)