The diffractive effects of a single laser rod in an unstable super-Gaussian coupled cavity are modeled for a range of cavity configurations, with an intracavity, zero-thickness aperture. After fundamental mode propagation through a maximally flat output coupler, beam quality (M²) and far-field power loss values are related. Beam quality is most sensitive to cavity magnification and aperture Fresnel number, both correlated to the aperture-equivalent Fresnel number. In contrast, variation of M² with aperture position is sufficiently conservative to predict the intensity profile of a solid-state laser with a typical gain length, in good agreement with experimental data.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(140.3410) Lasers and laser optics : Laser resonators
(140.4780) Lasers and laser optics : Optical resonators
(270.2500) Quantum optics : Fluctuations, relaxations, and noise
(270.3430) Quantum optics : Laser theory
Ann W. Kennedy, John B. Gruber, Paul R. Bolton, and Mark S. Bowers, "Modeling gain-medium diffraction in super-Gaussian coupled unstable laser cavities," Appl. Opt. 44, 1283-1287 (2005)