Abstract

An intra-cavity phase element, combined with a passive Q-switch saturable absorber and a suitable intra-cavity aperture, can provide extremely high mode discrimination, so as to obtain laser operation with single, pure, very high order Laguerre-Gaussian mode. With a Nd:YAG laser setup, well controlled and extremely stable Q-switched operation in the degenerate Laguerre-Gaussian TEM04, TEM14, TEM24, TEM34, and TEM44 modes was obtained. The measured output energy per pulse for each of these modes was 5.2mJ, 7.5mJ, 10mJ, 12.5mJ, and 13.7mJ respectively, compared to 2.5mJ for the Gaussian mode without the phase element (more than a five fold increase in output energy). Correcting the phase for these modes, so that all transverse lobes have uniform phase, results in a very bright and narrow central lobe in the far field intensity distribution that can theoretically contain more than 90% of the output energy.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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Appl. Opt. (1)

Appl. Phys. B (1)

Y. F. Chen, Y. P. Lan and S. c. Wang, �??Generation of Laguerre-Gaussian modes in fiber-coupled laser-diode end-pumped lasers,�?? Appl. Phys. B 72, 167�??170 (2001).

Appl. Phys. Lett. (3)

K. M. Abramski, H. J. Baker, A. D. Colly and D. R. Hall, �??Single-mode selection using coherent imaging within a slab waveguide CO2 laser,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 2469�??2471 (1992).
[CrossRef]

W. R. Sooy, �??The natural selection of modes in a passive q-switched laser,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 7, 36�??37 (1965).
[CrossRef]

N. Davidson, A. A. Friesem and E. Hasman, �??Diffractive elements for annular laser beam transformation,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 61, 381�??383 (1992).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (2)

Y. F. Chen, T. M. Huang, C. F. Kao, C. L. Wang and S. c. Wang, �??Generation of Hermite-Gaussian modes in fiber-coupled laser-diode end-pumped lasers,�?? IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 33, 1025�??1031 (1997).
[CrossRef]

A. A. Ishaaya, N. Davidson, G. Machavariani, E. Hasman and A.A. Friesem, �??Efficient selection of high-order Laguerre-Gaussian modes in a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser,�?? IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 39, 74�??82 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Commun. (2)

T. Graf and J. E. Balmer, �??Laser beam quality, entropy and the limits of beam shaping,�?? Opt. Commun. 131, 77�??83 (1996).
[CrossRef]

A. Chandonnet, M. Piche and N. McCarthy, �??Beam Narrowing by saturable absorber in a Nd:YAG Laser,�?? Opt. Commun. 75, 123�??128 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (6)

Progress in Optics (1)

R. Oron, N. Davidson, E. Hasman and A. A. Friesem, �??Transverse mode shaping and selection in laser resonators,�?? Progress in Optics 42, 325�??386 (2001).

Sov. J. Quantum Electron. (1)

A. P. Kolchenko, A. G. Nikitenko and Y. K. Troitskill, �??Control of the structure of transverse laser modes by phase-shifting masks,�?? Sov. J. Quantum Electron. 10, 1013�??1016 (1980).
[CrossRef]

Other (2)

A. E. Siegman, Lasers, p. 1038 (University Science Books, Sausalito, California, 1986).

W. Koechner, Solid-state laser engineering (Springer-Verlag, 5th ed., Germany, 1999, p. 509).

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