Abstract

A study of the maximal intensity peaks due to nonlinear holographic images of obstacles such as obscurations or phase defects in a high-power laser system is presented. It is shown that the interference of the high-power plane wave and the converging image wave results in the formation of intensity maximums in the vicinity of the image plane, the values of which significantly exceed the intensity in the image plane itself. For round obstacles, analytical expressions that describe magnitudes and locations of the maxima depending on the radius and the type of obstacle are given. A procedure of numerical modeling that allows estimation of the influence of beam size, medium thickness, type, size, and shape of obstacles onto the properties of nonlinear images is described. It is demonstrated that for a given combination of the nonlinear medium and the high-power beam parameters, there is an intrinsic size of obstacles that is most harmful for the laser system components.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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