Abstract

We present a theoretical investigation on the formation of hot images in an intense laser beam through cascaded Kerr medium disks, to disclose the distribution and intensity of hot images in high-power disk amplifiers. It is shown that multiple hot images from an obscuration may be formed, instead of one hot image as reported previously in the literature. This gives a clear explanation for the curious damage pattern of hot images, namely, damage sites appearing on alternating optics in periodic trains. Further analysis demonstrates that the distribution and intensity of hot images depend closely on the number of Kerr medium disks, the distance from the obscuration to the front of the first disk downstream, the space between two neighboring disks, and the thickness and B integral of each disk. Moreover, we take two cascaded Kerr medium disks for example to detail multiple hot images from an obscuration and confirm the theoretical results by numerical simulations.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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