[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 4, No. 1B (1997) 170-175]

Characteristics of a Birefringence Compensation Scheme in Nd3+ : YAG Rods Using a Polarization Rotator and Imaging Optics

Jong Rak PARK, Jae Yong LEE, Hyun Su KIM, Ki Young UM and Hong Jin KONG

Department of Physics, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 373-1, Kusong-dong, Yusong-gu, Taejon 305-701, Korea

(Received November 1, 1996; Accepted December 12, 1996)

A numerical model based on ray optics formulation taking the optical path length into account was described and applied to numerical investigations on a thermal birefringence compensation scheme proposed and experimentally demonstrated by Q. LEet al. [Opt. Quantum Electron. 28 (1996) 57]. Taking into consideration the thermal lensing effects of laser rods depolarization losses and spatial intensity profiles of depolarized beams were calculated for the scheme. It was theoretically confirmed that using a polarization rotator and imaging optics effective compensation for the birefringence in rods is possible for a wide range of pumping power.

Key words : Nd3+ : YAG laser, birefringence compensation, thermal birefringence, thermal focusing, polarization