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Appl Opt. 2012 Jun 20;51(18):4219-23. doi: 10.1364/AO.51.004219.

Unstable resonator with reduced output coupling.

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German Aerospace Center, Institute of Technical Physics, Hardthausen, Germany.


The properties of a laser beam coupled out of a standard unstable laser resonator are heavily dependent on the chosen resonator magnification. A higher magnification results in a higher output coupling and a better beam quality. But in some configurations, an unstable resonator with a low output coupling in combination with a good beam quality is desirable. In order to reduce the output coupling for a particular resonator, magnification fractions of the outcoupled radiation are reflected back into the cavity. In the confocal case, the output mirror consists of a spherical inner section with a high reflectivity and a flat outer section with a partial reflectivity coating. With the application of the unstable resonator with reduced output coupling (URROC), magnification and output coupling can be adjusted independently from each other and it is possible to get a good beam quality and a high power extraction for lasers with a large low gain medium. The feasibility of this resonator design is examined numerically and experimentally with the help of a chemical oxygen iodine laser.

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