Abstract

I analyze the formation of transverse modes in a microchip solid-state laser with plane-parallel cavity mirrors, generalizing the traditional mean-field limit of laser theory. Owing to the balance between mode diffraction and focusing effects induced by the pump beam, the transverse dimension of the laser modes is shown to depend on the cavity Q factor. To provide further insight, a one-dimensional model for an end-pumped microchip laser is also presented. The model gives analytical solutions for the threshold and for the intensity profile of different transverse modes and allows us to study the effects of narrow pump beams. In particular, it is predicted that decreasing the dimensions of the pump beam will lead to longitudinal mode hopping with a corresponding discontinuity in the transverse-mode profile.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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