The fanning behavior of the two interacting laser beams in a double phase-conjugate mirror (DPCM) obviously influences the characteristics of the mirror. We present a two-dimensional experimental study and model of the beam-fanning patterns obtained in nominally undoped and cobalt-doped (20 parts in samples. We propose a numerical method based on beam coupling theory that allows us to determine, for each crystal, which directions will develop significant fanning. We thus interpret the beam-fanning patterns by focusing on the influence of the incident beam’s width and incidence angle. The time evolution of the intensity in each of these directions is also studied and modeled. This model has been applied to DPCM to enable both incident beams to generate fanning in a common direction, with good results in terms of response time, efficiency, and stability.
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