We calculated the intensity distribution behind a thermal lens by using a numerical quadrature of the Fresnel diffraction integral and compared it to several given approximate models for laser light detection in the center behind a thermal lens, which includes a new approximate solution of the diffraction integral with applicability to strong thermal lenses. Consideration of the aberrant nature of the thermal lens is crucial even if the thermal lens is weak. A simple approximate formula for the position of the most intense interference ring stating a linear dependence of the thermal lens strength is given. The transverse profile of a weak thermal lens is discussed. It is shown that spherical aberration modifies the central intensity even if a Gaussian profile is observed.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 3, 1994
Revised Manuscript: May 12, 1994
Published: January 1, 1995
Frank Jürgensen and Wolffram Schröer, "Studies on the diffraction image of a thermal lens," Appl. Opt. 34, 41-50 (1995)