Abstract

We show that thermally induced birefringence in an electro-optical crystal can play an important role in Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers with a high average power output. A compensation of the thermal effects in both active-element and electro-optical crystals is achieved by employing two identical Pockels cells instead of one, with a π/2 polarization rotator between them in the so-called ring modulator. Experiments that are carried out show that undesirable thermopolarization effects are essentially eliminated by using this new optical configuration. A detailed description in terms of Jones matrices of the properties of the proposed resonator is also included.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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