[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 7, No. 2 (2000) 149-151]

Analysis of Birefringence Compensation Using a Quarter-Wave Plate in Solid-State Lasers

Ranganathan KANDASAMY, Masanobu YAMANAKA,* Yasukasu IZAWA and Sadao NAKAI

Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University, 2-6, Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871 Japan

(Received October 25, 1999; Accepted December 2, 1999)

Using Jones matrix formulation, the theoretical calculations of birefringence compensation technique for a quarter-wave plate scheme are presented. This scheme was proposed and experimentally demonstrated by W. A. Clarkson et al. (Opt. Lett. 24 (1999) 820). In the present paper we have theoretically confirmed that using this method, even in principle, complete compensation is not possible. However, it is shown quantitatively that this scheme does makes possible effective compensation for the birefringence in as few as several tens of watts of pumping power region, which is an attractive feature for laser-diode (LD) pumped solid-state laser systems. We also found good agreement between our theoretical calculations and experimental results obtained by W. A. Clarkson et al. For example, from the analysis we show that only <0.1% loss will be generated by about 10 W of heat deposited in the rod. This corresponds to about 30 W of LD pump power, which may generate from 6 to 10 W output power depending upon the conversion efficiency of the laser.

Key words : stress-induced birefringence, birefringence compensation, Jones matrix, quarter-wave plate, depolarization loss, mass fractal, surface fractal, combined fractal, self-similarity, power law, fractal dimension