29 August 2016 Enhanced performance of refractive laser beam shapers through additional phase control at focus
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Laser beam shaping at focus or focal beam shaping is essential for many applications. The most common approach makes use of the Fourier transforming properties of lenses to generate at their focal planes the desired irradiance patterns, e.g., the flattop. There are two inherent limitations for this approach. First, the shaping quality depends strongly on the dimensionless parameter β. In the case of a long focal length or small beam sizes giving a small β value, additional beam expanders are needed to achieve a satisfying irradiance pattern at the focus. Second, without considering the phase, the irradiance patterns beyond the focal plane are not controlled. We propose a different approach with two plano-aspheric lenses that allow control of both irradiance and phase at focus. The design method comprises an extended ray mapping procedure combined with backward wave propagation from focus. With this design approach, the shaping quality is guaranteed without the possible need for extra beam expanders, offering the potential for a more compact system with fewer elements. Through the additional phase control, the depth of focus is enlarged to a large extent and the designed system becomes more tolerant.
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Meijie Li, Youri Meuret, Michael Vervaeke, Hugo Thienpont, Fabian Duerr, "Enhanced performance of refractive laser beam shapers through additional phase control at focus," Optical Engineering 55(8), 085106 (29 August 2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.55.8.085106 . Submission:

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