13 May 1998 Optimized resonators for high-average-power high-brightness Nd:YAG lasers with birefringence compensation
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Abstract
Transversely cooled, cylindrical Nd:YAG laser rods exhibit a strong thermally induced birefringence when they are optically pumped. The birefringence leads to different refractive indices for radially and tangentially polarized light which affects the beam-quality and the degree of polarization achieved with conventional optical resonators. In spite of this drawbacks the traditional rod-geometry for Nd:YAG lasers is still of great interest because of its technological simplicity, comparatively low costs and acceptable efficiency. In the present study the limitations for the output power of single rod Nd:YAG lasers in TEM00- operation is investigated theoretically and experimentally. Furthermore the possibility of improving the brightness of Nd:YAG rod lasers beyond the traditional limits using dual rod systems with birefringence compensation is demonstrated. Birefringence compensation is established by image-relaying between two identical Nd:YAG laser rods and an additional 90 degree(s) polarization rotation. This compensation method requires specific dynamically stable optical resonators in order to achieve optimal compensation and high efficiencies. With a dual rod Nd:YAG-system up to 80 Watt TEM00 output power is achieved with a beam quality of M2 equals 2.8. The output power is approximately 8 times higher than using a single rod-system separately.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stefan Seidel, Stefan Seidel, Andre Schirrmacher, Andre Schirrmacher, Guido Mann, Guido Mann, - Nursianni, - Nursianni, Thomas Riesbeck, Thomas Riesbeck, } "Optimized resonators for high-average-power high-brightness Nd:YAG lasers with birefringence compensation", Proc. SPIE 3267, Laser Resonators, (13 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308109; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.308109
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