Abstract

The role of frustrated total internal reflection in the dynamics of laser eigenstates is investigated theoretically and experimentally. We first derive the Jones matrix of a frustrating element for a realistic Gaussian beam in a single-pass geometry. We point out the existence of three different angular regimes, namely, a pure frustration regime, an intermediate regime, and a quasi-Fabry–Perot regime. We then explore in each case the nature and the competition between the laser polarization eigenstates. A novel spiraling behavior of the laser parameters is demonstrated when the frustrating gap is varied, along with puzzling polarization-flipping effects, that may modify strongly the conditions that optimize the laser-output power. Experimental results agree with a theoretical model.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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