Abstract

The effects of the saturation of absorption on the propagation of Gaussian laser beams in an absorber are investigated analytically. Using a dimensionless parameter quantifying the level of saturation, we calculate the modifications in the beam parameters as perturbations from known solutions. The perturbation expansions are carried out in two directions, covering both low- and high-saturation cases. A formula is given that estimates the power transmission for all saturation levels. Numerical results are provided showing the effects of saturation on the spatial beam-spot size variation and the power transmission.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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