, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 911-918
Date: 26 May 2009

Circular modes selection in Yb:YAG laser using an intracavity lens with spherical aberration

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The possibility of use of ordinary short-focus lenses with strong spherical aberration for mode selection in a laser resonator is demonstrated. Plano-convex spherical lenses with foci from 2.5 to 10.0 cm placed inside the resonator of the CW laser diode pumped Yb:YAG laser were used to select circular modes of Laguerre-Gauss and Bessel-Gauss type, or to get ring-like, multi-mode off-axis oscillations with variable inner and outer diameters of rings. At the constant pump power mode selection was obtained by shifting an intracavity lens along the resonator axis relative to the Yb:YAG ceramics active element of 1.1 mm thickness. Peaked and hollow multi-ring beams with output power up to 30 mW were produced. Near diffraction free (ndf) propagation of the central part (minimum or maximum) of these beams was observed along distances over 10 m from the resonator output coupler. The mechanisms of mode selection due to spherical aberration in the resonator and ndf propagation of output beams are considered. The possibility of producing radially polarized beams from the laser with an intracavity lens and possible applications of the devised laser scheme are discussed.

Original Text © Astro, Ltd., 2009.
The article is published in the original.