Hollow laser beam (HLB) means there is a dark region of intensity in the central axis of a beam. Due to the specific characteristic of intensity distribution of this beam and its potential application prospects, methods for obtaining HLBs have been extensively reported such as in Refs. 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.–10. Among these methods, an HLB obtained directly by a hollow cone-shaped resonator (HCR) laser has been proposed according to Ref. 7. As minimum spot of the output beam is located in its surface, the output mirror of this HCR should support higher power density. Also, the dark region of this HLB will become bigger as the transmission distance increases. So, this HLB must depend on a focusing system for various applications.
In this article, to improve power density of the output mirror and raise the distance between the smaller dark region and the output mirror, we present a new laser, whose resonator has a hollow circular-truncated cone, shown in Fig. 1. We will show that the hollow situation of output beam of this resonator changes as the propagation distance increases. Also, the output mirror of the hollow circular-truncated cone resonator (HCTCR) will face lower power density due to the minimum spot lying outside the output mirror.
HCTCR and Its Hollow Variable Biconical Output Beams
The HCTCR laser includes a rotationally symmetric concave total reflector at the bottom, a rotationally symmetric convex part reflector at the top, and a hollow circular-truncated cone discharge tube at the middle, as shown in Fig. 1. Also, laser beams emit from in Fig. 1(a). Figure 1(d) is a section of the HCTCR along the axis of symmetry. In Fig. 1(d), is concave total reflector, is convex part reflector, and both and form a concave-convex sub-branch cavity of the HCTCR. This sub-branch cavity and another sub-branch cavity formed of and are symmetric about the -axis. So, simply put, the HCTCR is formed by a concave-convex sub-branch cavity making a circuit of the -axis. So, the output beams from the HCTCR are also formed by the output beams of cavity making a circuit of the -axis. In Ref. 7, there was a similar theory.
The main difference between the HCTCR and the HCR is the concave-convex sub-branch cavity in this case instead of concave-plane-concave folded sub-branch cavity in Ref. 7. This reflects the fact that the location of minimum spot can be adjusted to locate outside this resonator. So, the output beams of the HCTCR can have a more abundant intensity distribution.
To obtain the suitable minimum spot size, the location of minimum spot, and the half-apex angle, we can regulate and control the values of , , the distance between and , and the angle between the optical axis of cavity and the -axis, according to the resonator theory. As we are interested in the behavior of the output beams of the HCTCR here, this hypothesis is feasible.
According to Ref. 7, assuming the output beam from the sub-branch cavity is a fundamental Gaussian beam and linearly polarized along the -axis. The field distribution in coordinates can be defined by
The relationship between coordinates and coordinates can be expressed by
Substituting Eq. (2) in Eq. (1), we can obtain the field distribution from the sub-branch cavity in coordinates . Using the to rotate a circle around the -axis, the field distribution of the output beams from the HCTCR can be obtained. Also, the intensity distribution of the output beams of the HCTCR can be described by . Here, we can imagine that the output beam from this HCTCR will change from hollow center to solid center to hollow center as the propagation distance increases. Therefore, this output beam is named hollow variable biconical laser beam (HVBLB).
Simulation and Discussion
The parameters used in the calculation are wavelength , the refractive index in free space is 1, and the constant is 1. As for other parameters, some factors need to be considered. First, the radius of every mirror in the sub-branch is based on the spot size on this mirror. By the definition of spot size, it is best to have the former size above times the latter case. Second, from the inner edge of every mirror to the -axis, the distance must be enough for the electrode and the holder. Third, the distance between the point and will be selected according to actual requirement.
According to the above-mentioned first and second principles, for the position of the mirrors, may be the appropriate choice. Figures 2 and 3 take the relations among , , , and . Here, is abscissa of mirrors in coordinates , the sign of here is negative due to two mirrors on the left of the point .
From Fig. 2, if , the relationship among the , , and are shown in part (a), between and in part (b), between and in part (c), and and in part (d). Based on the data of Fig. 2, Fig. 3 shows some specific examples for ease of choice of parameters. For simplification, is equal to zero in these two figures. The various values about will be considered carefully in the following discussions.
According to the above-mentioned theory, the HVBLBs from the HCTCR at the have been simulated in Fig. 4. In Figs. 4(a) and 4(b), the minimum spot size is equal to 0.4 and 1.5 mm, respectively. Three rows in every part of Fig. 4 show , 0, and , respectively. The six pictures in every row of every part are the spot image at , , 0, 10, and 20 mm and the longitudinal section of transmission beams from to 20 mm, respectively.
Figure 4 shows that the output beams from the HCTCR have changed from hollow beams to center-bright beams and hollow beams with the increase in transmission distance. Also, the first hollow beams are named the left hollow beams, and the second hollow beams are named the right one. By comparing parts (a) and (b) of Fig. 4, it is clear that the length and width of the center-bright beams are influenced by the minimum spot size and the half-apex angle . The smaller the minimum spot size and the greater the half-apex angle, the smaller the length and width of the center-bright beams. From three row pictures of every part, the hollow situation depends on the relative position and distance between the point and . If the point is located to the right of the point , the right hollow beams have the clearer bright ring and relatively thinner wall than the left one. So, if it is needed to use the right hollow beam, the point would be set to the right of the point .
According to the theory of cavity algebra of lasers, the radii of curvature and can be calculated by , , and length of sub-branch cavity.
From Fig. 4, the HCBLB would be influenced by the values of , , and . In optical trapping, for smaller dark center of beam, the values of and should be as small as possible and the value of can be equal to zero. For large distances and high-power laser, bigger and smaller should be chosen. If making a hole in short distance, proper , , and need to be designed according to the size of the hole and the material of the object.
Based on the design in this article, the position of the highest power density of the output beams is located outside of the HCTCR. The benefits have two advantages: First, the output mirror can be protected because of the smaller power density. This merit is especially useful for a high-power situation. Second, a variation beam from hollow to solid to hollow along the increase of the propagation distance can be obtained directly with this laser resonator. So, this output beam is named as HVBLB. Both the hollow part and center-bright part of this HVBLB can be used directly without shaping and therefore do not waste extra energy. The output beams will be used for not only small-power application areas but also high-power cases and have extensive prospects.
We gratefully thank the Sichuan Province S&T Support Program of China (No. 2012FZ0046) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 61225022 and 61320106015).
Jinglun Liu is an associate professor at the Sichuan University. She received her MS and PhD degrees in optics from the Sichuan University in 2004 and 2007, respectively. She is the author of more than 10 journal papers and has written 7 patents. Her current research interests include laser physics and technology and holography.