Abstract

A He–Ne laser with an annular gain zone is studied theoretically. It is demonstrated that the He–Ne medium in the annular discharge zone possesses enough gain to maintain laser oscillation. A multipass ring resonator, which is composed of two annular spherical mirrors, is described, and it is shown that the resonator is suitable for extracting optical energy from the He–Ne medium in the annular gain zone. Considering the availability of population inversion in the traveling-wave cavity and the influence of the crossover of the folded light beam in the resonator on the output power, a calculation formula for the output power of the laser with the multipass ring resonator is given. Calculating results prove that a 1 W output of the He–Ne laser can be obtained by a 1  m length annular discharge zone.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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