A rigorous analysis of the unstable Bessel resonator with convex output coupler is presented. The Huygens–Fresnel self-consistency equation is solved to extract the first eigenmodes and eigenvalues of the cavity, taking into account the finite apertures of the mirrors. Attention was directed to the dependence of the output transverse profiles; the losses; and the modal-frequency changes on the curvature of the output coupler, the cavity length, and the angle of the axicon. Our analysis revealed that while the stable Bessel resonator retains a Gaussian radial modulation on the Bessel rings, the unstable configuration exhibits a more uniform amplitude modulation that produces output profiles more similar to ideal Bessel beams. The unstable cavity also possesses higher-mode discrimination in favor of the fundamental mode than does the stable configuration.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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