Self-imaging properties of fiber lasers in a strongly confined waveguide (SCW) and their application in coherent beam combination (CBC) are studied theoretically. Analytical formulas are derived for the positions, amplitudes, and phases of the N images at the end of an SCW, which is important for quantitative analysis of waveguide CBC. The formulas are verified with experimental results and numerical simulation of a finite difference beam propagation method (BPM). The error of our analytical formulas is less than 6%, which can be reduced to less than 1.5% with Goos–Hahnchen penetration depth considered. Based on the theoretical model and BPM, we studied the combination of two laser beams based on an SCW. The effects of the waveguide refractive index and Gaussian beam waist are studied. We also simulated the CBC of nine and 16 fiber lasers, and a single beam without side lobes was achieved.
© 2012 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article