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Simplified intracavity phase plates for increasing laser-mode discrimination

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Abstract

Recently, a new class of laser resonators was introduced that utilizes diffractive mirrors and an additional intracavity diffractive phase element. High modal discrimination and low fundamental-mode loss were achieved simultaneously by use of sinusoidal and pseudorandom diffractive phase elements. An intracavity phase element consisting of a simple single-step phase modulation is approximated by a Gaussian with a small radius. Explicit expressions are obtained for the modal-discrimination factor as a function of resonator parameters with a Gaussian output mirror. Numerical simulations are performed for a phase element with a step singularity in the phase function, the fundamental mode of this cavity being super-Gaussian. The modal discrimination of the cavity is studied for different radii of the single-step phase modulation, the position of the phase plate, and the cavity Fresnel number. Optimum solutions are found for a plane output mirror with either a striped or a circular shape.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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