Abstract

We study the factors that ultimately limit the performance of an external enhancement resonator for optical second-harmonic generation (SHG). To describe the resonant SHG process we introduce a theoretical model that accounts for the intensity-dependent cavity loss that is due to harmonic generation and that also includes a realistic assumption about the shape and the frequency width of the laser mode. With the help of this model we optimized the performance of a doubling cavity based on a lithium triborate (LBO) crystal. This cavity was used for frequency doubling the output of a single-frequency titanium-doped sapphire laser at 850 nm. We were able to push the total second-harmonic conversion efficiency to 53% (a 1.54-W pump resulted in 820 mW of second-harmonic light), which to our knowledge is the best result ever reported for a LBO-based doubling cavity.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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