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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 2008
  • pp: 3886–3891

Thermally induced birefringence in nonsymmetrically pumped laser rods and its implications for attainment of good beam quality in high-power, radially polarized lasers

Yaakov Lumer, Inon Moshe, Zvika Horovitz, Steven Jackel, Galina Machavariani, and Avi Meir  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 21, pp. 3886-3891 (2008)

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The ability to generate and then amplify radially polarized light opens up the possibility of achieving very high-power, near diffraction-limited beams from rod-based solid-state lasers. Residual bifocusing rapidly degrades beam quality. Residual bifocusing results from nonradially symmetric pump distributions. We analyze how a nonradially symmetric pump distribution induces a nonradially symmetric stress map. This manifests itself as nonradially symmetric birefringence, and as depolarization to radially/azimuthally polarized beams (or as deterioration in birefringence compensated linearly polarized lasers). Here we analytically describe the birefringence terms of a nonradially symmetric strain map. The model results are supported by radial-depolarization measurements in our 2 kW Nd:YAG pump chambers. For the current level of depolarization, beam quality degradation per rod is Δ M 2 = 4 because of bifocusing alone. The degradation per rod can be reduced substantially by improving pump uniformity.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.3580) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, solid-state
(140.6810) Lasers and laser optics : Thermal effects
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: February 14, 2008
Revised Manuscript: June 23, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: June 26, 2008
Published: July 17, 2008

Yaakov Lumer, Inon Moshe, Zvika Horovitz, Steven Jackel, Galina Machavariani, and Avi Meir, "Thermally induced birefringence in nonsymmetrically pumped laser rods and its implications for attainment of good beam quality in high-power, radially polarized lasers," Appl. Opt. 47, 3886-3891 (2008)

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