Abstract

In this Letter, we report a novel approach for directly exciting the lowest-order Laguerre–Gaussian (LG01) donut mode with controllable handedness of the helical phase front trajectory in an end-pumped solid-state laser. Our approach is based on the use of a novel mode selection element consisting of two nanoscale thickness aluminum stripes to provide discrimination between LG01 modes with opposite handedness. This scheme has been applied to a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser to generate and switch between LG01 modes with opposite handedness at output powers 1W at 1064 nm.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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