Experiment Study of Influence on Laser Beam Quality Induced by Thermal Lens Effect and Depolarization Effect
For high power and repetitive Nd:Glass laser, there would appear serious thermal effect due to the significantly-enhanced pumping optical power density in laser rod, which would induce thermal double refraction, phase distortion, thermal focusing, thermal depolarization, etc. Thus, the laser output power and beam quality would be influenced severely. Influence of thermal lens effect and depolarization effect caused by thermal stress double refraction on laser beam were studied in this paper for high power and repetitive laser. In the experiment of thermal lens effect, change of the laser spot by thermal lens effect was recorded after a TEM00 He-Ne laser beam passing through the Nd:Glass rod pumped by Xe lamp, and the corresponding optical compensator was applied to eliminate the thermal lens effect to improve the beam quality. Configuration of polarizer was designed in our experiment to research the depolarization effect caused by thermal stress double refraction. First, emergent light distribution and loss factor caused by double refraction was calculated according to the theoretical model. Then the exiting cone-shaped polarized light intensity distribution was obtained through the experiment. It could be obtained from the experiments that thermal lens effect and depolarization effect caused by thermal double refraction would reduce the output laser beam quality to varied extents. As the number of laser pulses increased, thermal effects began to emerge and the output laser energy apparently decreased; when the thermal effects steadied, the output energy would be tending towards stability.
Long Chen, Yongkang Zhang, Aixing Feng, Zhenying Xu, Boquan Li and Han Shen
X. Ye et al., "Experiment Study of Influence on Laser Beam Quality Induced by Thermal Lens Effect and Depolarization Effect", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 43, pp. 670-674, 2011