The effect of dispersive elements, such as intracavity étalons and multipass interferometric output couplers, on the mode separation of a resonator has been studied. We demonstrate, both theoretically and experimentally in a TEA CO2 laser, that the separation of the two adjacent longitudinal modes closest to the interferometer reflection peak is strongly reduced when a high-finesse interferometer is used as an output coupler. This effect must be taken into account in the design of single-mode lasers.
© 1986 Optical Society of America
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