Abstract

The saturation process of free-electron-laser oscillators (FEL’s) in the warm-beam regime is examined, considering radiation-extraction efficiency and spectral width. The spectral width and conversion efficiency can be estimated in both high- and low-gain regimes when the laser-oscillator mode population is sparse enough. Under certain conditions, which can be achieved in a relativistic FEL with a Fabry–Perot resonator, a superinhomogeneous-broadening saturation process is predicted in which a hill-heaping effect will accompany the hole burning in the gain curve. In an oscillator, the resonator modes will interact and tend to spread both the emission spectrum and the electron-beam distribution uniformly and over a wide region.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

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