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Thermo-Optical (TOP) analysis of transmissive elements for laser systems

: Gatej, A.; Richmann, A.; Pütsch, O.; Loosen, P.


Forbes, Andrew ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Laser beam shaping XIII : 13 August 2012, San Diego, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2012 (Proceedings of SPIE 8490)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9207-4
Paper 84900C
Conference "Laser Beam Shaping" <13, 2012, San Diego/Calif.>
Fraunhofer ILT ()

Increasing laser beam qualities make thermal lensing again a hot topic and demand for a thermo-optical simulation for improving classical ray tracing and enabling optimization possibilities for thermally aberrated optical systems. This paper summarizes the approach for coupling FEM and ray tracing using a weighted least squares approximation algorithm and demonstrates the abilities of the coupled simulation in the case of a CO2 laser system for polishing of glass and plastics. It can be demonstrated that the algorithm can be used for the analysis of higher order aberrations, since the application contains a Gaussian to top-hat conversion lens group which suffers from thermal gradients. Finally, the benefits and further developments of analyzing thermal gradients in optical simulation are being discussed.