Abstract

We present an approach for efficient conversion of a single-high-order-mode distribution from a laser to a nearly Gaussian distribution and vice versa. It is based on dividing the high-order mode distribution into equal parts that are then combined together coherently. We implement our approach with several optical arrangements that include a combination of discrete elements and some with single interferometric elements. These arrangements are analyzed and experimentally evaluated for converting the TEM01 mode distribution with M x 2 = 3 to a nearly Gaussian beam with M x 2 = 1.045 or M x 2 = 1.15. The basic principle, design, and experimental results obtained with several conversion arrangements are presented. The results reveal that conversion efficiency is typically greater than 90%, compared with theoretical ones. In addition, some arrangement is exploited for converting the fundamental Gaussian-beam distribution into the TEM01 mode distribution.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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