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# Doctoral Degrees (Physics)

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### Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Physics) by Subject "Beam shaping"

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- ItemIntra–cavity laser beam shaping(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-03) Litvin, Igor A.; Forbes, Andrew; Rohwer, Erich G.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Physics.
Show more ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There are many applications where a Gaussian laser beam is not ideal, for example, in areas such as medicine, data storage, science, manufacturing and so on, and yet in the vast majority of laser systems this is the fundamental output mode. Clearly this is a limitation, and is often overcome by adapting the application in mind to the available beam. A more desirable approach would be to create a laser beam as the output that is tailored for the application in mind – so called intra-cavity laser beam shaping. The main goal of intra-cavity beam shaping is the designing of laser cavities so that one can produce beams directly as the output of the cavity with the required phase and intensity distribution. Shaping the beam inside the cavity is more desirable than reshaping outside the cavity due to the introduction of additional external losses and adjustment problems. More elements are required outside the cavity which leads to additional costs and larger physical systems. In this thesis we present new methods for phase and amplitude intra– cavity beam shaping. To illustrate the methods we give both an analytical and numerical analysis of different resonator systems which are able to produce customised phase and intensity distributions. In the introduction of this thesis, a detailed overview of the key concepts of optical resonators is presented. In Chapter 2 we consider the well–known integral iteration algorithm for intra–cavity field simulation, namely the Fox–Li algorithm and a new method (matrix method), which is based on the Fox–Li algorithm and can decrease the computation time of both the Fox–Li algorithm and any integral iteration algorithms. The method can be used for any class of integral iteration algorithms which has the same calculation integrals, with changing integrants. The given method appreciably decreases the computation time of these algorithms and approaches that of a single iteration. In Chapter 3 a new approach to modeling the spatial intensity profile from Porro prism resonators is proposed based on rotating loss screens to mimic the apex losses of the prisms. A numerical model based on this approach is presented which correctly predicts the output transverse field distribution found experimentally from such resonators. In Chapter 4 we present a combination of both amplitude and phase shaping inside a cavity, namely the deployment of a suitable amplitude filter at the Fourier plane of a conventional resonator configuration with only spherical curvature optical elements, for the generation of Bessel–Gauss beams as the output. In Chapter 5 we present the analytical and numerical analyses of two new resonator systems for generating flat–top–like beams. Both approaches lead to closed form expressions for the required cavity optics, but differ substantially in the design technique, with the first based on reverse propagation of a flattened Gaussian beam, and the second a metamorphosis of a Gaussian into a flat–top beam. We show that both have good convergence properties, and result in the desired stable mode. In Chapter 6 we outline a resonator design that allows for the selection of a Gaussian mode by diffractive optical elements. This is made possible by the metamorphosis of a Gaussian beam into a flat–top beam during propagation from one end of the resonator to the other. By placing the gain medium at the flat–top beam end, it is possible to extract high energy in a low–loss cavity.Show more