Abstract

For the conversion of light from edge-emitting laser diodes into symmetric laser beams two main tasks have to be performed: collimation and beam shaping. Generally these two jobs are performed separately. Because of the inherently different divergence angles of the emitted light, collimation with astigmatic lenses generally results in a beam with an elliptically shaped amplitude distribution. This asymmetry has to be compensated for by an anamorphic imaging step to obtain the desired spherical beam profile. It can be advantageous to combine both jobs in one element. We demonstrate the design, the fabrication, and the application of refractive gradient-index elements, which allow one to perform both jobs with a single element. Our astigmatic lenses were fabricated by silver–sodium ion exchange in glass.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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