Abstract

Hollow-core waveguides consisting of a glass capillary tube with an internal reflective coating are capable of delivering pulse energies of tens of millijoules with improved focusability compared to step index fibers of similar core diameter. We demonstrate the capability of these fibers to deliver high-power Q-switched pulses at the fundamental (1064  nm), second (532  nm), and third (355  nm) harmonics of a Nd:YAG laser, both in terms of peak power and beam quality delivered. In terms of peak power delivery, the primary limitation is the occurrence of bend-induced optical damage to the reflective coating. The damage mechanism and the influential factors are analyzed, in particular, the dependence upon the number of guided modes, core diameter, coating thicknesses, and input polarization alignment.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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