Abstract

We report on a novel high-sensitivity method to characterize and improve mode matching into optical cavities. This method is based on heterodyne detection of cylindrical transverse cavity modes. A specially designed annular-segmented photodiode is used to measure the amplitude of nonresonant modes reflected by the cavity. Our measurements allow us to optimize cavity mode matching to nearly 99.98% and will play an important diagnostic role in gravitational-wave detectors.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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