Abstract

A laser beam characterization method is reported, which is applicable to arbitrary and ideal laser beam intensity profiles. This method, called the scattered light imaging method (SLIM), is based on scattered light imaging of a laser beam and provides a complete visualization of it in the region of interest. The method was applied to characterize an arbitrary pedestal-shaped beam and compared with a conventional method (camera scanning). The results we presented show that, for arbitrary beams, it seems much more meaningful to know the intensity profile evolution than to determine an M2 value. Therefore the SLIM is a powerful tool for a new and more complete type of laser beam characterization.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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