We describe a combined computer simulation and experimental investigation of the intracavity spatial beam profile characteristics of a planar-waveguide rf-excited CO<sub>2</sub> laser that incorporates a hybrid waveguide confocal unstable negative-branch resonator. The study includes results for the intracavity lateral beam intensity profile and output power of the laser as a function of resonator mirror misalignment. In addition, the behavior of the unstable resonator, observed experimentally and predicted by the simulation, in generating localized high intensity hot-spots when it is subjected to relatively large misalignment angles is reported.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(140.3410) Lasers and laser optics : Laser resonators
(140.3470) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, carbon dioxide
Bartosz Wasilewski, Howard J. Baker, and Denis R. Hall, "Intracavity Beam Behavior in Hybrid Resonator Planar-Waveguide CO2 Lasers," Appl. Opt. 39, 6174-6187 (2000)