We present a new, compact, and practical optical mode converter that efficiently transforms a high-order Hermite–Gaussian (HG) laser beam into a nearly Gaussian beam. The mode converter is based on coherently adding different transverse parts of the high-order mode beam by use of a single planar interferometric element. The method, configuration, and experimental results obtained with a pulsed Nd:YAG HG laser beam are presented. The results reveal that the efficiency of conversion of a HG beam to a nearly Gaussian beam can be as high as 90%.
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