Abstract

An analytical model of the thermal effect and optical path difference (OPD) of a thin-disk laser is developed by an arbitrary form pumping spot. Based on the analytical model, the distribution of temperature, stress, and strain can be derived using a super-Gaussian form pumping spot. The total OPD caused by temperature gradient, axial thermal strain, thermal strain-induced birefringence, and deformation of the thin-disk crystal is discussed for different super-Gaussian factors and is separated into spherical and aspherical parts. The analytical results show that the aspherical part of the OPD is the main reason leading to the decrease of the laser beam quality and it is closely related to super-Gaussian factors, which are very useful for thin-disk laser design and evaluation.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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