Soft aperture for lasers

 

(57) Abstract:

The invention relates to laser optics and can be used when working with solid-state and gas lasers used in laser technology, scientific research, laser units developed under the program of laser fusion. The inventive soft aperture for laser-based cell with two Windows, tightly interconnected spacer ring with holes and forming the housing includes an insert made of optically transparent material with a refractive index of ninin the form of a convex-concave meniscus with a spherical or aspherical surfaces are placed between the Windows with two gaps filled through hole liquid. When this liquid (with a refractive index of nW1), absorbing the radiation of the laser beam with a wavelength incident on the cuvette is filled with only one gap between the window and the convex surface of the meniscus, and the second gap is filled with a liquid with a refractive index of nInot absorbing laser radiation. Increasing in thickness as a function of the radius of the cell r from the axis to the periphery of the layer of the absorbing liquid smooths (Apodi the misalignment of n1and n2the refractive indices of the liner and liquids n1=nin-nW1and n2=nin-nIare selected such that the maximum deflection angle of the beam of radiation emerging at the periphery of the cell at r=a, (a) was in the range of diffraction angle for the aperture of the cell with diameter 2A, (a)<1,22 /2A. The design of the cell allows for the manufacture of its components, the use of different optical materials, as well as working fluids with a valid difference of refractive indicesn<0,1, which means almost the insensitivity of the device to variations in temperature within a few degrees. 1 C.p. f-crystals, 3 ill.

The invention relates to laser optics and can be used when working with solid-state and gas lasers used in laser technology, laser medicine, research, laser units developed under the program of laser fusion.

Soft aperture-Apodization light beams are widely used in present devices in the optical path of modern high-power laser systems. They are used for smoothing protrans is tensively, appearing in the aperture of the beams when they diffraction on ordinary ("hard") apertures. Thus, the use of soft diaphragms increases the resistance of powerful laser beams with respect to the self-focusing. It also allows you to optimize the power output of the active medium by increasing the fill factor of the radiation of the working aperture of the amplifier, to increase the conversion efficiency of laser radiation at higher harmonics [1-8].

Despite the large number of proposed methods and techniques of forming soft diaphragms, actual use in the optical path of high-power lasers have found only a few types of Apodization highly resistant to laser radiation (1-5 j/cm2) and high contrast ratio transmittance of radiation on the axis and at the periphery of the beam, K = 102-103. Among them, the so - called toothed aperture of the metal [8], aperture-based partially frosted glass plates [5] the diaphragm on the basis of multilayer dielectric coatings and some others [6, 7].

The highest values of contrast to K 106it is possible to obtain soft diaphragms based on layers of variable thickness of the prophetic Known device, implementing this feature is a ditch with an internal cavity of variable thickness, liquid filled, with an absorption coefficient k[2, 3, 5, 6]. In order for a laser beam with a uniform intensity distribution incident on such a cell, the output from it acquired a soft intensity distribution described supergaussian function by contrast, the dependence of the transmittance of the aperture radius r Tr should be described by the function

< / BR>
and the profile of optical elements, limiting layer of the absorbing liquid, must be, generally speaking, aspherical. Thus the dependence of the layer thickness of the absorber radius r is described by the function

< / BR>
Here: T(o) - transmission axis of the diaphragm,

and is the radius of the aperture, in which T(r) is decreasing in time,

h00 is the thickness of the layer of populates on the axis of the aperture.

Known soft aperture on the basis of the cell Windows, one window of which is plane-parallel plate, and the other PLANO-convex spherical lens [3, 5, 6]. As the absorbing liquid on the wavelength neodymium laser = 1.06 Ám in a ditch used a copper sulfate solution [3, 5, 6]. The transmission function of this aperture believe of dye solution, in which one of the Windows of the plane, and the other is a PLANO-convex aspheric lens [2]. In such a ditch - soft aperture it is possible to get supergaussian the transmission function and, due to the high values of the absorption coefficient of the dye, the values of the contrast up to 10 K6[2].

The main disadvantage proposed in [2, 3, 5, 6] constructs a ditch - soft diaphragms is the necessity with very high accuracy to find the equality of the indices of refraction of filling the cell fluid, nWand window material with a curved surface of the n1and the need to strictly control the temperature of such ditch - soft diaphragms. Indeed, the cuvette with lenticularity window has considerable optical power, if only to fill the cell, the working fluid is not strictly the immersion liquid for a window material with a curved surface. Deviation from the immersion will naturally cause severe phase distortions in the beam passing such a cell. According to estimates, for apertures with the apertures 70 mm permissible deviation of refractive index n=n1-nWshould not exceed 10-5. In this case, the phase of the claim is P> happy. This condition, as you can see, imposes strict requirements on the temperature of such a device. Indeed, the temperature coefficient of the refractive indices of most organic solvents for dyes, lasers used in visible and near IR wavelength ranges , is the value ofW=(-2)-(-5) 104/K [9]. For most glasses and crystals that can be used in the design of the cell, in the same wavelength range1= 10-6- 10-7/To [10]. Thus, the main cause of violations of the conditions of immersion in a ditch will be variations in the values of nWassociated with small deviations of the temperature of the cell. To maintain the conditions of immersion in a ditch will be required, thus, its heat setting with an accuracy of t of 0.1 K. These performance features soft diaphragms - ditch [2, 3, 5, 6] with shaped liquid layer is difficult, of course, their practical use.

The famous design of the cuvette with two plane-parallel Windows, separated by insert (liner) of the fused silica plate [11]. This insert was formed with input and output Windows of the cuvette gap with a constant thickness, zapomnivshiesya one and tavasci amplifier - obotrites laser pulses. Cell with plane-parallel liner was not able to provide the functions of the soft aperture.

Closest to the invention (the prototype) is the unit with a soft diaphragm-cell, discussed in [12]. In this work the design of the cuvette of Fig.1 with two Windows, tightly interconnected with the gap filled with the working fluid, the thickness of the gap increases from the axis of the cell to the periphery due to the lenticularity of the surface profile of one of the Windows. In Fig.1 and in the text the following notation:

1 - open cuvettes (glass, quartz);

2 - profiled area of the window;

3 - layer absorbing fluid,

4 - plane optical contact.

It is noted that to create a profiled layer of the working fluid in the cuvette may be placed in the liner, however, the design of the cuvette with the liner not included. The advantage of the construction of the flexible diaphragm-cell from [12] is its tightness, which significantly when working with corrosive and toxic working fluids. When using in a ditch solutions prosvetayushchaia under the action of laser radiation of the dye cuvette-soft aperture can be used as passive for the th when using prosvetayushchaia dye profile transmittance of the cell begins to depend on the intensity of the incident laser radiation. However, for the design of the cell from [12] is peculiar to the above-mentioned disadvantages, which hinders its use as a soft aperture and passive shutter: the need for selection with high accuracy equality of the refractive indices of the fluid and the material of the window with a curved surface and, as a consequence, the need for stringent tests of the cell.

The objective of the invention was the creation of the construction of the flexible diaphragm for lasers on the basis of the cell from absorbing laser radiation fluid having smoothed transmission function with high contrast and ensures Apodization beams of laser radiation in the near UV, visible and NIR wavelength ranges, without requiring rigid stabilization and precise adjustment of the equality of the refractive indices of the materials of the optical parts of the cell and the working fluid. When using in a ditch prosvetayushchaia dye cuvette must also perform the function of the passive optical shutter.

The proposed technical resetname between a spacer ring with holes and forming a housing, containing a liner from an optically transparent material with a refractive index of ninplaced between the Windows with two gaps filled through holes for liquid with a refractive index of nWabsorbing radiation with a wavelength of the laser beam incident on the cell, and the thickness of the at least one gap filled with liquid, increases from the axis of the cell to its periphery. While the insert is made in the form of a convex-concave meniscus with a spherical or aspherical surfaces, and the gaps filled in independently by different liquids, and absorption of laser radiation by a liquid with a refractive index of nWonly fill the gap between one of the Windows of the cuvette and the convex surface of the meniscus, and the second gap is filled with a transparent to laser radiation a liquid with a refractive index of nW1when this mismatch n1,2the refractive indices of the liner and liquids n1,2= nin-nIare selected such that the maximum deflection angle of the beam of radiation emerging at the periphery of the cell in (a), was in the range of diffraction angle for the aperture of the cell diameter 2A, (a) < 1,22 /2A.

In addition, when used in the blend shutter for lasers.

The design of the cuvette shown in Fig.2. In Fig.2 and in the text the following notation:

1 - open cuvettes (glass, quartz),

2 - spacer ring (glass, quartz) in optical contact with Windows,

3 - layer absorbing fluid,

4 - liner in the form of a convex-concave meniscus (glass, quartz, plastic),

5 - seals

6 - holes for pouring liquids,

7 - layer non-absorbent liquid.

The body of the cell is formed by two plane-parallel Windows 1 from optically transparent material, hermetically interconnected spacer ring 2. In the housing between the Windows of the cuvette placed the insert 4 of the optically transparent material in the form of a convex-concave meniscus. Formed between the Windows and bearing clearances are filled with liquid, and absorbing the laser radiation by the liquid 3 (e.g., a dye solution) is only filled one of the gaps between the window of the cuvette and the convex surface of the meniscus. This gap and forms a soft profile of the transmittance of the cell. The second gap is between the concave surface of the meniscus and the other box is filled transparent to the laser radiation by the liquid 7 (for example, pure solvent without dye). In the design of the cell s substances.

This design provides the cell as a soft aperture in a practical, non-critical deviations of refractive indices n = nin-nWand stabilization conditions. Indeed, the optical power of the meniscus, being in an environment with a close refractive index is very small. In this regard, the design of the inventive cell should expect a considerable easing of requirements on the allowable values of deviations of refractive indices of the liner and liquid n and consequently on the temperature variation. To clarify the essence of the proposed technical solution in Fig.3A and b shows the comparison of the rays of the beam of radiation passing through the sample cell with equal thickness was meniscal liner, Fig.3A, and through the sample cell, in which the liner is a PLANO-convex lens, Fig.3b. In Fig.3A and b and in the text the following notation:

H - thickness of the meniscus,

h(r) - profile of the absorbing layer,

r is the radius of the cell,

R is the radius of curvature of the spherical surfaces of the meniscus,

- deflection angle, the last cell with equal thickness was meniscus,

1- the angle of deflection of the beam at the output of the cell with a PLANO-convex lens.

The angle of the disturbances is < / BR>
Here n*= nin/nWthe relative refractive index at the boundary between the meniscus of the liquid, ninis the refractive index at the boundary between the meniscus - air, i.e., n-nW(n*-1). For comparison, the deflection angle1for the cell with the lens, Fig.3b, is described by the formula

< / BR>
The use of the cell with the meniscus can provide, thus, the increase in angle of deviation of order

< / BR>
Correlations valid for small angles of incidence, dh(r)/dr<< 1. (4)

The following examples compare the magnitude of the specific angular deviations of the beam at the periphery of the cell with meniscal bearing with spherical and aspheric surfaces with deviations of the beam in case of use of the lenticularity of the liner. For simplicity of calculations meniscus liners were considered of equal thickness was, and lens insert is PLANO-convex. Condition (4) all studies nW1= nI= nW< / BR>
Example 1. The spherical surface of the glass meniscus of radius R. the Expression (1) for this

< / BR>
When r=a =3.5 cm, n = 0,015, n*-1 = 10-2, H = 0.5 cm; R = 17.5 cm; nin= 1,5, nW= of 1.485. The maximum deflection angle of the beam at the outlet of the cuvette 8 10-7that obviously IU the surface of the meniscus creates a profile of the transmittance of the cell type Gaussian functions. For incident intensity I0(r) = const and h0= 0 last beam intensity will be

< / BR>
where a is the radius corresponding to the falling intensity in time. For K= 1000 the data presented above we can calculate the desired absorption coefficient of the dye solution (without enlightenment) to= 20 cm-1and the thickness of its layer at the periphery of the cell h(a)=3,5 mm

For comparison, the calculated deflection angle of the beam 1for the cell-prototype with a liner in the form of a PLANO-convex lens, Fig.3b:

< / BR>
This deviation is significantly larger diffraction angle and is unacceptable when dealing with beams having angular divergence of 10-4happy. The ratio of the angles of deviation /1= 10-4i.e. the gain in the reduction of distortion in the angular divergence of the laser beam in the case of the cell with meniscal liner is 4 orders of magnitude when n = 0,015.

Example 2. The aspherical surface of equal thickness was meniscal liner. The profile of the transmittance of the diaphragm in this case should provide the beam with the intensity distribution of the form

.

The profile layer of dye

< / BR>
where h0= h(0).

For K=1000, the maximum thickness of a layer of dye (without p is described in this case, expression of the form

< / BR>
Will make the assessment of the deviation of the beam in the cuvette with the meniscus for the following values of parameters:

N = 5, a = 3.5 cm, H = 0.5 cm, nin= 1,5, n*-1 = 10-2n = 0,015, k = 50 cm-1. Received 310-6. The deviation of the beam in a ditch with aspherical lens (Fig.3b)13 10-3that is unacceptable for practice.

The gain of the use of the meniscus in this case /1= 1 10-3.

Thus, the use in a ditch meniscus insert with spherical and aspheric surfaces does not lead to angular deviations of the laser beam beyond the diffraction divergence. The calculations show that the applied ditch with meniscal liner can provide such devices as "soft" diaphragms when the difference of refractive indices of the liquid and liner up to 0.1. This means almost insensitivity of these cells to changes in temperature within a few degrees. In addition, they offer the ability to search various materials for the manufacture of Windows and insert the cuvette among a wide class of environments that are transparent in the near UV, visible and NIR portions of the spectrum, including not only glass and crystals, but, for example, the La fill the cuvette. Interest may cause the application of the half pans non-toxic, non-aggressive solvents, such as water. These benefits should contribute to a wide practical application of the proposed design with lasers operating in the near UV, visible and NIR portions of the spectrum. The choice of the form of meniscus liner will help to shape the intensity distribution of the laser beams as Gaussian and supergaussian forms, and the choice of the concentration of dye in solution will be obtained for these distributions the values of the contrast K = 102- 106.

Example 3.

Application prosvetayushchaia dye in the inventive device gives it the functionality of a passive shutter: modulator of or interstage junction in the laser facility. The profile of the transmittance of the cell with prosvetlilsia dye begins to depend on the intensity of the incident radiation. This means that the profile of the laser beam transmitted optical element will be different, for example, at the front and at the maximum of the laser pulse, although it will be a smooth (soft). The use of the cuvette with a soft aperture with prosvetlilsia dye as a modulator of in repeateritem conditions of the laser setup and the type of dye. It should be noted that the use in a ditch with the meniscus instead of the usual dye prosvetayushchaia almost no influence on the optical power of the device. Therefore, all conclusions regarding the benefits of the cuvette with meniscal liner compared with the lens liner is part of the angular divergence of the last cell of the beam will remain in effect.

Literature

1. Baranov N. B. , Bykovsky N. That is , Zeldovich B. L., Senate Y. C. "Diffraction and self-focusing of radiation in the amplifier powerful light pulses". Quantum electronics, 1, 11, 2435-2458 (1974).

2. Costich V. L. and Johnson, B. C. "Apertures to shape high-power beams Laser Ffocus, September 1974, pp.43-46.

3. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Laser Fusion Program Semiannual Report, July - Dec 1972, UCRL-50021-72-2.

4. McMahon J. M., Burns R. P., Debiux I.e. et al. "The Upgraded Pharos II Laser System", IEEE J. of Quantum Electronics, vol QE-17,9, pp.l629-1638 (1981).

5. Rizvi N., Redkiss D., Panson C. "Apodizer development, Rutherfford Appleton Lab., Ann. report, RAL-87-041, pp.113-114 (1987).

6. Lukishova, S., Krasyuk, I. K., p. P. Pashinin, Prokhorov, A. M. "Apodization of light beams as a method of increasing the brightness lasers neodymium glass". Proceedings of IOFAN, 7, 92-147 (1997).

7. Mak, A. A., Soames L. I., Fromzel C. A., Yanshin C. E. "Lasers neodymium glass". M., Science (1990).

8. Van Wonterghen B. M., Murray J. R., Campbell J. H. "Perf homogeneity and composition of the glass. M "Stroyizdat" (1990).

10. "Physical quantity". Handbook Ed. by D. Grigoriev S. and other M "Energoatomizdat" (1991).

11. K. Ueda et all. "Sub-picosecond pulse generation of KrF amplifier using acridine saturable absorber", Proc. of SPIE, vol. 1225, pp.95-106 (1990).

12. V. Mizin, Yu.Senatsky, S. Sobolev, L. Vinogradsky, I. Zubarev "Development of the Nonlinear Optical Element for light Beams Apodization and Large Aperture Laser Amplifiers Decoupling" Report submitted to the I-st International Conf. on Physics and Applications of High-Power Laser Ablation. April 26-30, 1998, Santa Fe, USA; Proc.of SPIE, vol.3343, PP.344 - 351 (1998).

1. Soft aperture for laser-based cell with two Windows, tightly connected to each other with a gap filled with liquid absorbing radiation with a wavelength of the laser beam incident on the cell, the thickness of the gap increases from the axis of the cell to its periphery, characterized in that the cuvette Windows connected spacer ring containing a liner from an optically transparent material with a refractive index of ninin the form of a convex-concave meniscus with a spherical or aspherical surfaces, forming Windows of the cuvette two gap filled with independently through openings of various liquids, and absorption of laser radiation by a liquid with a refractive index of nW1only fill the gap between one of the Windows kuvioittaisen of refraction nIwhen this mismatch n1and n2the refractive indices of the liner and liquids n1= nin- nW1and n2= nin- nIare selected such that the maximum deflection angle of the beam (a) at the output of the cell with a diameter of 2a was in the range of diffraction angle for the aperture of the cell (a) < 1,22 / 2a.

2. Soft aperture for laser-based cell under item 1, characterized in that the absorbing liquid in the gap of the cell is phototrophy environment.

 

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