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Proceedings Paper

Thermal lensing compensation optics for high power lasers
Author(s): Michael Scaggs; Gil Haas
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Paper Abstract

Athermalization of focusing objectives is a common technique for optimizing imaging systems in the infrared where thermal effects are a major concern. The athermalization is generally done within the spectrum of interest and not generally applied to a single wavelength. The predominate glass used with high power infrared lasers in the near infrared of one micron, such as Nd:YAG and fiber lasers, is fused silica which has excellent thermal properties. All glasses, however, have a temperature coefficient of index of refraction (dn/dT) where as the glass heats up its index of refraction changes. Most glasses, fused silica included, have a positive dn/dT. A positive dn/dT will cause the focal length of the lens to decrease with a temperature rise. Many of the fluoride glasses, like CaF2, BaF2, LiF2, etc. have a negative dn/dT. By applying athermalization techniques of glass selection and optical design, the thermal lensing in a laser objective of a high power laser system can be substantially mitigated. We describe a passive method for minimizing thermal lensing of high power laser optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7913, Laser Resonators and Beam Control XIII, 79130C (18 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.871370
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Scaggs, Neoteric Concepts, LLC (United States)
Gil Haas, Haas Laser Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7913:
Laser Resonators and Beam Control XIII
Alexis V. Kudryashov; Alan H. Paxton; Vladimir S. Ilchenko, Editor(s)

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