Effects of thermally induced birefringence in the laser rod on the performance of a degenerate four-pass Nd:glass amplifier are investigated by numerical models in this study. The spatial intensity profile of a depolarized beam, the amount of depolarization, and the temporal profile of an amplified output pulse are obtained for several schemes of the amplifier. It is found that the efficient compensation of the polarization distortion by introducing a Faraday rotator at the proper position in the amplifier can lead to stable high-contrast single pulse amplification.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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