Thermal lens evolution and compensation in a high power KGW Raman laser

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Abstract

The transient thermal lens in a high-average power double metal tungstate Raman laser has been investigated. An external cavity potassium gadolinium tungstate (KGW) laser designed for second-Stokes output was burst-pumped with up to 46 W of average power at a pulse repetition rate of 38 kHz. At low duty-cycle, the laser generated up to 18 W of on-time average Raman power with a conversion efficiency of 40%. At high duty cycle, efficiency is reduced and the near-field beam profile expands in the X1' crystal direction over a period of tens of milliseconds. The evolution of the spatial beam properties occurs in response to the development of a highly astigmatic thermal lens with fast-axis susceptibility of approximately .1.7 m.1 per watt of Raman output power. We show that the likely cause for astigmatism is primarily photo-elastic in origin. Beam circularization was achieved by incorporating an intracavity convex cylindrical lens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6707-6718
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

This paper was published in Optics express and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-22-6-6707. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

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