With the laser technology being actively developed and the average power of both continuous wave and repetitively pulsed lasers steadily growing, the problem of reducing thermal effects occurring in various optical elements due to light absorption is becoming ever more important. A Faraday isolator (FI) is one of the optical devices that are most influenced by thermal self-action because of the relatively strong absorption (~10−3 cm−1) in the magneto-optical elements (MOEs). The nonuniform temperature distribution induced by absorption gives rise to linear birefringence (photoelastic effect), in addition to the Faraday effect, and transmitted beam wavefront distortions (thermal lensing). In high-power lasers the degree of isolation is limited by the thermally induced depolarization.

© 2017 IEEE

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