Abstract

We demonstrate motion-free beam quality M2 measurements of stigmatic, simple astigmatic, and general astigmatic (twisted) beams using only a focus-tunable liquid lens and a CCD camera. We extend the variable-focus technique to the characterization of general astigmatic beams by measuring the 10 second-order moments of the power density distribution for the twisted beam produced by passage through multimode optical fiber. Our method measures the same M2 values as the traditional variable-distance method for a wide range of laser beam sources, including nearly TEM00 (M21) and general astigmatic multimode beams (M28). The method is simple and compact, with no moving parts or complex apparatus and measurement precision comparable to the standard variable-distance method.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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