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Large-mode enhancement cavities

: Carstens, H.; Holzberger, S.; Kaster, J.; Weitenberg, J.; Pervak, V.; Apolonski, A.; Fill, E.; Krausz, F.; Pupeza, I.

Postprint (PDF; )

Optics Express 21 (2013), No.9, pp.11606-11617
ISSN: 1094-4087
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ILT ()

In passive enhancement cavities the achievable power level is limited by mirror damage. Here, we address the design of robust optical resonators with large spot sizes on all mirrors, a measure that promises to mitigate this limitation by decreasing both the intensity and the thermal gradient on the mirror surfaces. We introduce a misalignment sensitivity metric to evaluate the robustness of resonator designs. We identify the standard bow-tie resonator operated close to the inner stability edge as the most robust large-mode cavity and implement this cavity with two spherical mirrors with 600 mm radius of curvature, two plane mirrors and a roundtrip length of 1.2 m, demonstrating a stable power enhancement of near-infrared laser light by a factor of 2000. Beam radii of 5.7 mm × 2.6 mm (sagittal × tangential 1/e2 intensity radius) on all mirrors are obtained. We propose a simple all-reflective ellipticity compensation scheme. This will enable a significant increase of the attainable power and intensity levels in enhancement cavities.