The effects of hard apertures on the transversal mode distribution and the output near and far field distributions are investigated both theoretically and experimentally. Wavefronts propagating in different directions inside a CO2 laser cavity were measured at the same plane and found to have different transversal amplitude profiles. The influence of intracavity aperture’s location and diameter on the near field distribution and far field beam quality were measured and calculated. Quantitative figures of merit are introduced to evaluate the departure of the transversal mode patterns from ideal Gaussians.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
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