Abstract

In this paper we present experiments and calculations of the property changes of a highly reflecting volume Bragg grating (VBG) when it is used as a laser cavity mirror. A small absorption of the reflected laser beam resulted in a laser output power roll-off, increased coupling through the VBG, and a change of the spectrum from a single to a double peak at high power. The simulations revealed that an inhomogeneous temperature distribution deformed the grating such that the diffraction efficiency was reduced and the light penetrated deeper into the VBG, which accelerated the deteriorating effects. We extrapolated the power limit found in our investigations for various beam radii and absorption coefficients.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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