20 February 2015 Refractive beam shapers for optical systems of lasers
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Performance of modern high-power lasers can be strongly improved by control of irradiance distribution in laser optical systems: 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; variable profiles are also important in irradiating of photocathode of Free Electron lasers (FEL). This task can be easily solved with using beam shaping optics, for example, the field mapping refractive beam shapers like Shaper. The operational principle of these devices presumes transformation of laser beam intensity from Gaussian to flattop one with high flatness of output wavefront, saving of beam consistency, providing collimated output beam of low divergence, high transmittance, extended depth of field, negligible residual wave aberration, and achromatic design provides capability to work with ultra-short pulse lasers having broad spectrum. With using the same Shaper it is possible to realize various beam profiles like flattop, inverse Gauss or super Gauss by simple variation of input beam diameter. 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, "Refractive beam shapers for optical systems of lasers", Proc. SPIE 9346, Components and Packaging for Laser Systems, 93460R (20 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2080864; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2080864

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