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Opt Express. 2010 Mar 29;18(7):6621-7. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.006621.

Weak etalon effect in wave plates can introduce significant FM-to-AM modulations in complex laser systems.

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Research Center of Laser Fusion, China Academy of Engineering Physics, P. O. Box 919-988, Mianyang, 621900, China.


The conversion of frequency modulation to amplitude modulation (FM-to-AM) effect is harmful to the high power laser facility based on the phase modulation technique. The FM-to-AM effect of phase modulation pulse induced by the weak etalon effect in wave plates was investigated theoretically and experimentally. A bulk phase modulator with a modulation frequency of 9.2GHz was employed. The numerical simulation results show that the FM-to-AM effect with a temporal modulation depth of 2.5% and 29.7% on the top of the pulse shape was induced by the weak etalon effect in half-wave plate with thickness of 1mm and residual reflectance ratio of 0.5% for 1 pass and 12 passes respectively. On the same condition, the temporal modulation depth is 3.0% and 23.4% respectively in the experiment. The results are in good agreement with numerical simulation results. To our knowledge, it is the first time to introduce the weak etalon effect in wave plates for a complex phase modulation laser system.

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