12 March 2013 Recent advances in coupled laser cavity design
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Abstract
External cavity coherent beam combining represents a path forward to higher fiber laser radiance, with several groups demonstrating scalable approaches. In this paper, we review recent advances in coupled laser cavity design. In particular, we compare various designs and describe the pros and cons of each with regard to sensitivity to path length errors. Experimental measurements using a specially designed dual-core fiber demonstrate the modal loss from a superposition architecture. A second area of investigation is concerned with Q-switch suppression in coupled laser cavities. The increased cavity loss that accompanies path length errors in the laser arms can suppress lasing, causing an energy build-up in the laser inversion. When the path length errors are removed and the cavity resumes its low loss state, the stored energy can be released in a manner analogous to Q-switching, creating a giant laser pulse. Since the peak power of this pulse can be many orders of magnitude larger than the cw power, the high instantaneous intensity can cause irreparable damage to optical components. We investigate passive systems that are designed to suppress this unwanted Q-switching by allowing alternative lasing paths to clamp the gain.
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James R. Leger, James R. Leger, Hung-Sheng Chiang, Hung-Sheng Chiang, Johan Nilsson, Johan Nilsson, Junhau Ji, Junhau Ji, Jayanta Sahu, Jayanta Sahu, } "Recent advances in coupled laser cavity design", Proc. SPIE 8600, Laser Resonators, Microresonators, and Beam Control XV, 86000S (12 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2005628; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2005628
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