Abstract

We describe a combined computer simulation and experimental investigation of the intracavity spatial beam profile characteristics of a planar-waveguide rf-excited CO2 laser that incorporates a hybrid waveguide confocal unstable negative-branch resonator. The study includes results for the intracavity lateral beam intensity profile and output power of the laser as a function of resonator mirror misalignment. In addition, the behavior of the unstable resonator, observed experimentally and predicted by the simulation, in generating localized high intensity hot-spots when it is subjected to relatively large misalignment angles is reported.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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