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Opt Express. 2010 Sep 13;18(19):19566-73. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.019566.

Improving directivity of laser beams by employing the effect of conical refraction in biaxial crystals.

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Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.


The far-field pattern of Gaussian beams transformed by conical refraction in biaxial crystal is analyzed. It is shown that one of the two outgoing beam components acquires, under certain conditions, a profile with a dominating central peak. The width of this peak can be made significantly smaller than the width of the parent diffraction-limited Gaussian beam at the same propagation distance. The formation of such structurally-stable sub-diffraction beam core improves the beam directivity. Another component is a charge-one optical vortex, that forms the annular shell of the beam and carries the rest of the beam power.

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