A theoretical framework is presented for calculating three-dimensional resonator modes of both stable and unstable laser resonators. The resonant modes of an optical resonator are computed using a kernel formulation of the resonator round-trip Huygens–Fresnel diffraction integral. To substantiate the validity of this method, both stable and unstable resonator mode results are presented. The predicted lowest loss and higher order modes of a semi-confocal stable resonator are in agreement with the analytic formulation. Higher order modes are determined for an asymmetrically aberrated confocal unstable resonator, whose lowest loss unaberrated mode is consistent with published results. The three-dimensional kernel method provides a means to evaluate multi-mode configurations with two-dimensional aberrations that cannot be decomposed into one-dimensional representations.
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