Abstract

A novel resonator, the Gauss-core resonator, based on a stable resonator configuration designed to yield a highly focusing beam operating in a large-volume TEM00 mode, is presented. A 6.2 kW linearly polarized output beam with an M2 factor of 1.7 is obtained experimentally for a high-power cw CO2 laser. The capability of the Gauss-core resonator to process laser materials is also studied. We can cut 1-mm-thick mild (soft) steel with a maximum cutting speed of 58 m/min at 5.6kW and 0.2-mm-thick steel 145 m/min at 2.8 kW.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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