Optical EngineeringAnalysis and modeling of a high-power Yb:fiber laser beam profile
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Recently the fiber and the disk laser have been developed as advanced high power lasers of continuous wave type. Their beams are fiber-guided. Their low beam parameter product determines the focused beam as a high power density tool for laser materials processing. The lateral and axial power density distribution is crucial for the process. The measurement of a focused Yb:fiber laser beam is compared with its theoretical profile. While a Gauss beam describes the real beam in the far field, in the vicinity of the focus the beam is similar to a top-hat profile. In particular, the peak power density is lower around the focus than for a Gaussian beam. This provides a flatter, less varying optical tool along a certain axial range. A suitable model of the focused laser beam is achieved by superposition of a Gauss beam with a second but negative Gauss beam, each with matched parameters for power, spot diameter, and Rayleigh length. Owing to its much better accuracy with less than a 20% error, the model beam is applicable, e.g., for simulation of the welding process.