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1 May 2014 Design of refractive laser beam shapers to generate complex irradiance profiles
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A Gaussian laser beam is reshaped to have specific irradiance distributions in many applications in order to ensure optimal system performance. Refractive optics are commonly used for laser beam shaping. A refractive laser beam shaper is typically formed by either two plano-aspheric lenses or by one thick lens with two aspherical surfaces. Ray mapping is a general optical design technique to design refractive beam shapers based on geometric optics. This design technique in principle allows to generate any rotational-symmetric irradiance profile, yet in literature ray mapping is mainly developed to transform a Gaussian irradiance profile to a uniform profile. For more complex profiles especially with low intensity in the inner region, like a Dark Hollow Gaussian (DHG) irradiance profile, ray mapping technique is not directly applicable in practice. In order to these complex profiles, the numerical effort of calculating the aspherical surface points and fitting a surface with sufficient accuracy increases considerably. In this work we evaluate different sampling approaches and surface fitting methods. This allows us to propose and demonstrate a comprehensive numerical approach to efficiently design refractive laser beam shapers to generate rotational-symmetric collimated beams with a complex irradiance profile. Ray tracing analysis for several complex irradiance profiles demonstrates excellent performance of the designed lenses and the versatility of our design procedure.
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Meijie Li, Youri Meuret, Fabian Duerr, Michael Vervaeke, and Hugo Thienpont "Design of refractive laser beam shapers to generate complex irradiance profiles", Proc. SPIE 9131, Optical Modelling and Design III, 913105 (1 May 2014);

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