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The Photonics Spotlight

Stability of Resonators – an Ambiguous Term

Posted on 2009-04-05 as a part of the Photonics Spotlight (available as e-mail newsletter!)

Permanent link: https://www.rp-photonics.com/spotlight_2009_04_05.html

Author: Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta, RP Photonics Consulting GmbH

Abstract: The article discusses different meanings of stability in the context of laser resonators.

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

Ref.: encyclopedia articles on optical resonators, laser resonators, stability zones, alignment sensitivity; Spotlight article of 2006-11-28

In the context of optical resonators, stability is a property with very different meanings:

The trouble is that these kinds of stability are extremely different:

In some cases, the requirements for stability in both senses can even be conflicting. In particular, Q-switched solid-state lasers are mechanically most stable when built with a very compact (possibly even monolithic) resonator setup. This, however, together with the requirement of having a sufficiently large effective mode area on all optical components (the laser crystal, the Q-switch, dielectric mirrors) may force one to operate the laser near such an sensitive stability edge. That can be a severe problem, making it very hard to obtain a robust setup, despite the good mechanical stability.

Obviously, it is essential in such situations to understand very well the involved trade-offs in order to find the overall best technical solution.

This article is a posting of the Photonics Spotlight, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page and cite it, because its location is permanent. See also the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology.

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