Abstract

A novel cavity design based on a confocal negative branch unstable resonator configuration is presented. A proper choice for the size of the field limiting aperture, set at the common focal plane of the mirrors, results in removal of the hot spot inside the cavity and in the smoothing of the spatial profile of the oscillating mode. Application of this scheme to a pulsed Nd:YAG oscillator is thoroughly characterized in a variety of operational modes (fixed-Q, Q-switching, mode-locking). The main results are a high efficiency of energy extraction and excellent phase and amplitude profiles of the output beam, which shows real transform-limited performances.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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