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Proceedings Paper

Thermal birefringence and depolarization compensation in glass-based high-average-power laser systems
Author(s): Amber L. Bullington; Steven B. Sutton; Andy J. Bayramian; John A. Caird; Robert J. Deri; Al C. Erlandson; Mark A. Henesian
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Paper Abstract

Thermally induced birefringence can degrade the beam quality in high-average-power laser systems with doped-glass substrates. In this work, we compare glass-laser slab amplifiers at either Brewster's angle or normal incidence and discuss trade-offs between both designs. Numerical simulations show the impact of thermally induced depolarization in both amplifier systems. A non-uniform temperature profile and the resultant mechanical stress leads to depolarization that worsens as the beam propagates through the slab-amplifier chain. Reflective losses for depolarized light at Brewster's angle cannot be compensated and degrade beam quality. This motivates the selection of normally incident slab amplifiers, which facilitates birefringence compensation. Tolerances for birefringence compensation of two matched normal-incidence glass-slab amplifiers balanced by a quartz rotator are also investigated. Imbalances in thermal load, relative amplifier position and beam magnification between amplifiers show the highest depolarization sensitivity and establish limits for manufacturing tolerances and amplifier design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7916, High Power Lasers for Fusion Research, 79160V (18 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.876531
Show Author Affiliations
Amber L. Bullington, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Steven B. Sutton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Andy J. Bayramian, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
John A. Caird, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Robert J. Deri, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Al C. Erlandson, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Mark A. Henesian, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7916:
High Power Lasers for Fusion Research
Abdul A. S. Awwal; A. Mike Dunne; Hiroshi Azechi; Brian E. Kruschwitz, Editor(s)

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