We report what we believe to be the first applications of numerical optimization algorithms to the design of diffractive elements that customize the fundamental mode profile of a laser system. Standard design techniques treat these elements as specific phase-conjugation devices, which leads to performance loss when they are quantized to permit fabrication. Numerical optimization can account for quantization of the element to increase the effective performance. Also, it is shown that allowing a slight increase in the intrinsic loss of the cavity can substantially increase the fidelity of the fundamental mode of the customized cavity. The good discrimination qualities of the mode-selection elements are shown to be unaffected by this process.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(050.2230) Diffraction and gratings : Fabry-Perot
(140.3410) Lasers and laser optics : Laser resonators
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium
(140.3570) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, single-mode
Ian M. Barton and Mohammad R. Taghizadeh, "Application of optimization algorithms to the design of diffractive optical elements for custom laser resonators," Opt. Lett. 23, 198-200 (1998)