Abstract

A saturable-absorber-based technique for spatial filtering of high-average-power laser beams is described. For a focused, radially symmetric beam having its highest intensity at the center, this saturable absorber behaves like a soft aperture with gradually increasing attenuation toward the beam edges, thus selectively transmitting the low divergence components that are confined close to the central axis of the propagating laser beam. This technique has been successfully used to reduce the divergence of a high-power, high-repetition-rate, tunable, narrowband, pulsed dye laser. Our results demonstrate how a judicious choice of operating parameters allows spatial filtering to be achieved with the introduction of a minimum absorption loss of the laser beam in the saturable absorber. Following a time-dependent analysis of a rate equation model describing the propagation and interaction of the laser beam with the saturable absorber, we have also obtained theoretical estimates for the extent of spatial filtering. Our theoretical estimates have been found to be in good agreement with our experimental observations.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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    [CrossRef]
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2002

1998

1997

S. Szatmari, Z. Bakonyi, and P. Simon, "Active spatial filtering of laser beams," Opt. Commun. 134, 199-204 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1996

1979

P. R. Hammond, "Self-absorption of molecular fluorescence, the design of equipment for measurement of fluorescence decay, and the decay times of some laser dyes," J. Chem. Phys. 70, 3884-3894 (1979).
[CrossRef]

1977

1976

C. E. Max, W. C. Mead, and J. J. Thomson, "Mechanisms of the plasma spatial filter for high-power lasers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 29, 783-785 (1976).
[CrossRef]

1975

U. Ganiel, A. Hardy, G. Neumann, and D. Treves, "Amplified spontaneous emission and signal amplification in dye laser systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. OE-11, 881-892 (1975).
[CrossRef]

1967

Akkara, J. A.

Aoshima, Y.

Aranda, F. J.

Bakonyi, Z.

S. Szatmari, Z. Bakonyi, and P. Simon, "Active spatial filtering of laser beams," Opt. Commun. 134, 199-204 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Dasgupta, K.

Dickey, F. M.

F. M. Dickey and S. C. Holswade, Laser Beam Shaping Theory and Techniques (Marcel Dekker, 2000).

Drexhage, K. H.

K. H. Drexhage, "Structure and properties of laser dyes," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

Egami, C.

Ganiel, U.

U. Ganiel, A. Hardy, G. Neumann, and D. Treves, "Amplified spontaneous emission and signal amplification in dye laser systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. OE-11, 881-892 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Goodman, J. W.

J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics (McGraw-Hill, 1968).

Hammond, P. R.

P. R. Hammond, "Self-absorption of molecular fluorescence, the design of equipment for measurement of fluorescence decay, and the decay times of some laser dyes," J. Chem. Phys. 70, 3884-3894 (1979).
[CrossRef]

Hardy, A.

U. Ganiel, A. Hardy, G. Neumann, and D. Treves, "Amplified spontaneous emission and signal amplification in dye laser systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. OE-11, 881-892 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Hercher, M.

Holswade, S. C.

F. M. Dickey and S. C. Holswade, Laser Beam Shaping Theory and Techniques (Marcel Dekker, 2000).

Ippen, E. P.

C. V. Shank and E. P. Ippen, "Mode-locking of dye lasers," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

Joseph, J.

Kato, J.

Kundu, S.

Max, C. E.

C. E. Max, W. C. Mead, and J. J. Thomson, "Mechanisms of the plasma spatial filter for high-power lasers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 29, 783-785 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Mead, W. C.

C. E. Max, W. C. Mead, and J. J. Thomson, "Mechanisms of the plasma spatial filter for high-power lasers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 29, 783-785 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Moncur, N. K.

Morton, K. W.

R. D. Richtmyer and K. W. Morton, Difference Methods for Initial Value Problems, 2nd ed. (InterScience/Wiley, 1967).

Nair, S. K. S.

Nakashima, M.

Neumann, G.

U. Ganiel, A. Hardy, G. Neumann, and D. Treves, "Amplified spontaneous emission and signal amplification in dye laser systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. OE-11, 881-892 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Okamoto, N.

Pal, T. B.

Rao, D. V. G. L. N.

Ray, A. K.

Richtmyer, R. D.

R. D. Richtmyer and K. W. Morton, Difference Methods for Initial Value Problems, 2nd ed. (InterScience/Wiley, 1967).

Sasikumar, S.

Schafer, F. P.

F. P. Schafer, "Principles of dye laser operation," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

Shank, C. V.

C. V. Shank and E. P. Ippen, "Mode-locking of dye lasers," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

Simon, P.

S. Szatmari, Z. Bakonyi, and P. Simon, "Active spatial filtering of laser beams," Opt. Commun. 134, 199-204 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Sinha, S.

Sugihara, O.

Suzuki, Y.

Szatmari, S.

S. Szatmari, Z. Bakonyi, and P. Simon, "Active spatial filtering of laser beams," Opt. Commun. 134, 199-204 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Tallman, C.

C. Tallman and R. Tennant, "Large-scale, excimer-laser-pumped dye lasers," in High Power Dye Lasers, Vol. 65 of Springer Series in Optical Sciences, F.J.Duarte, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

Tanaka, H.

Tennant, R.

C. Tallman and R. Tennant, "Large-scale, excimer-laser-pumped dye lasers," in High Power Dye Lasers, Vol. 65 of Springer Series in Optical Sciences, F.J.Duarte, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

Thomson, J. J.

C. E. Max, W. C. Mead, and J. J. Thomson, "Mechanisms of the plasma spatial filter for high-power lasers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 29, 783-785 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Treves, D.

U. Ganiel, A. Hardy, G. Neumann, and D. Treves, "Amplified spontaneous emission and signal amplification in dye laser systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. OE-11, 881-892 (1975).
[CrossRef]

Webb, C. E.

C. E. Webb, "High-power dye lasers pumped by copper vapor lasers," in High Power Dye Lasers, Vol. 65 of Springer Series in Optical Sciences, F. J. Duarte, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

Yamaguchi, I.

Appl. Opt.

Appl. Phys. Lett.

C. E. Max, W. C. Mead, and J. J. Thomson, "Mechanisms of the plasma spatial filter for high-power lasers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 29, 783-785 (1976).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron.

U. Ganiel, A. Hardy, G. Neumann, and D. Treves, "Amplified spontaneous emission and signal amplification in dye laser systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. OE-11, 881-892 (1975).
[CrossRef]

J. Chem. Phys.

P. R. Hammond, "Self-absorption of molecular fluorescence, the design of equipment for measurement of fluorescence decay, and the decay times of some laser dyes," J. Chem. Phys. 70, 3884-3894 (1979).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B

Opt. Commun.

S. Szatmari, Z. Bakonyi, and P. Simon, "Active spatial filtering of laser beams," Opt. Commun. 134, 199-204 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett.

Other

R. D. Richtmyer and K. W. Morton, Difference Methods for Initial Value Problems, 2nd ed. (InterScience/Wiley, 1967).

Lambda Chrome Laser Grade Dyes Data Sheets, U. Brackmann, ed., Lambda Physik Gmbh, Germany (1986).

C. V. Shank and E. P. Ippen, "Mode-locking of dye lasers," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

K. H. Drexhage, "Structure and properties of laser dyes," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

C. Tallman and R. Tennant, "Large-scale, excimer-laser-pumped dye lasers," in High Power Dye Lasers, Vol. 65 of Springer Series in Optical Sciences, F.J.Duarte, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

C. E. Webb, "High-power dye lasers pumped by copper vapor lasers," in High Power Dye Lasers, Vol. 65 of Springer Series in Optical Sciences, F. J. Duarte, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

F. P. Schafer, "Principles of dye laser operation," in Dye Lasers, F. P. Schafer, ed. (Springer-Verlag, 1977).

F. M. Dickey and S. C. Holswade, Laser Beam Shaping Theory and Techniques (Marcel Dekker, 2000).

J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics (McGraw-Hill, 1968).

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