Abstract

We used a pair of diamond-turned CaF<sub>2</sub> aspheres to convert the pure TEM<sub>00</sub> Gaussian spatial profile output of a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser oscillator into a super-Gaussian intensity profile with a nearly flat phase front. The resulting super-Gaussian beam was nearly diffraction limited with an <i>M</i><sup>2</sup> of 1.75; in the near field the 5-mm diameter beam retained a nominally flat-top intensity distribution without significant diffraction peaks for an excellent working distance of more than 50cm. A 10% improvement in amplifier-energy extraction obtained by use of the reshaped beam is demonstrated.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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