26 February 2015 Freeform beam shaping in optical systems of high-power lasers
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Control of irradiance distribution in complex optical systems of modern high-power lasers is of great importance to increase efficiency of optical techniques used to reach high power levels. For example, flat-top or super-Gaussian irradiance profiles are optimum for amplification in MOPA lasers and for reduction of thermal effects in crystals of solid-state ultra-short pulse lasers when pumping by an external multimode laser. Specific requirements to beam shaping optics in these laser systems are providing variable irradiance distributions, saving of beam consistency and flatness of phase front, capability to work with TEM00 and multimode lasers, resistance to high peak power radiation. Among various refractive and diffractive beam shaping techniques only refractive field mapping beam shapers like Shaper meet these requirements. The operational principle of these devices presumes almost lossless transformation of laser beam irradiance from Gaussian to flat-top, super-Gauss or inverse-Gauss through controlled wavefront manipulation inside a beam shaper using lenses with smooth optical surfaces. This paper will describe some design basics of refractive beam shapers of the field mapping type and optical layouts of their applying in optical systems of high-power lasers. Examples of real implementations and experimental results will be presented as well.
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Alexander Laskin, Alexander Laskin, Vadim Laskin, Vadim Laskin, Aleksei Ostrun, Aleksei Ostrun, "Freeform beam shaping in optical systems of high-power lasers", Proc. SPIE 9345, High Power Lasers for Fusion Research III, 93450J (26 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2080838; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2080838

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