Abstract

The mode-medium instability of an active medium in an unstable resonator is investigated. The asymptotic solution due to Horwitz, valid for large Fresnel numbers in an empty cavity, is modified by introducing gain/phase sheets in front of the resonator mirrors. The effect of medium coupling to the mode in the cavity is obtained by introducing a general time-independent Green’s function in the Fox-Li formulation. The time evolution is then obtained by repeated integration of the beam propagation in the cavity. The diffractive terms are shown to grow rapidly at the expense of the geometric term. This instability responsible for the deterioration of the beam quality is studied numerically for a CO2 lasing system as an example.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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