Toric Resonator Experimental Study
PERKIN-ELMER CORP NORWALK CT ELECTRO-OPTICAL DIV
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An experimental study of several unstable resonator concepts for annular gain volume lasers has been performed. The annular geometry is potentially advantageous for lasers employing radial flow of gain media across the optical resonator axis. The objectives of this study were to determine the ability of each resonator concept to support a single low-order transverse mode, and to measure its sensitivity to various misalignments and figure errors. The configurations tested were the converging wave resonator of Chodzko, and several variations of the half-symmetric unstable resonator with an intracavity axicon HSURIA. Several different annular gain cells were designed and used in these test including an annular dye cell visible and a flash photolysis DF IR gain cell, each stimulated by a central flash lamp. The converging wave resonator did not produce the desired single low order transverse mode and its characteristics were sensitive to small misalignments approximately 10 micro rad. Results obtained for the HSURIA show evidence of fundamental mode output less than or equal to 2 lambdaD divergence and high sensitivity to msialignments. Modification of the cavity with a hollow corner reflector in place of the spherical feedback mirror significantly reduces this misalignment sensitivity.
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