We analyze the mode properties of a laser with a Gaussian gain profile by using the beam propagation method. The resonance properties of the Petermann <i>K</i> factor and the <i>M</i><sup>2</sup> beam quality are shown to be related in the vicinity of degenerate cavity geometries. <i>K</i> is unity for a confocal cavity, even under conditions with strong gain guiding, while <i>M</i><sup>2</sup> is a maximum.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
Carl F. Maes and Ewan M. Wright, "Mode properties of an external-cavity laser with Gaussian gain," Opt. Lett. 29, 229-231 (2004)