Abstract

Siegman [Opt. Lett.18, 675 (1993)] showed that binary-phase plates cannot improve laser beam quality. We demonstrate that continuous spiral phase elements can improve the quality of beams that originate from a laser operating with a pure high-order transverse mode. A theoretical analysis is presented, along with experimental results obtained with a CO2 laser. The results reveal that a nearly optimal Gaussian output beam can be obtained with only a small decrease in the output power.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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