Abstract

Measurements and calculations of lensing effects from nonlinear refraction in active and passive elements are presented. It is shown that saturable absorption is the dominant contribution to lensing. The theory is applied to a femtosecond-ring-laser cavity, for which the beam parameters are calculated as a function of intensity. We observe that stable femtosecond pulses are obtained only for a cavity configuration that is insensitive to self-lensing.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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