## Abstract

A novel approach for the simulation of the performance of multimode lasers is presented which enables the computation of the optical mode composition of a wide range of macroscopic cw resonators with a given pump distribution. Based on the steady-state solution of the rate equation for the population inversion density, an analytical relation for the intensities of the individual modes is developed. A novel numerical algorithm is presented that efficiently solves this relation for the fraction of total power of each individual mode, taking into account the gain saturation caused by the other simultaneously oscillating modes. As a by-product, important laser design criteria, such as heat load in the laser crystal, output beam parameters, and optical efficiency, can be calculated. This approach is validated by comparison of simulation results with measurements taken from an experimental thin-disk multimode laser.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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