Abstract

The use of cylindrical nonlinear crystals is a good way to extend the angular-tuning capability of optical parametric oscillators. We consider the example of a 1064-nm-pumped KTiOPO4 optical parametric oscillator phase matched in the x–z plane. A 31.5° angular tuning is demonstrated, limited by the spectral range of the mirrors. The measured slope efficiency and threshold energy are compared with the values published for a similar optical parametric oscillator that uses a parallelepipedic crystal. We study the beam quality of the emitted signal. The experiments with a plano–plano cavity point out the spatial-filtering effect due to the short focal length of the cylindrical crystal placed in the cavity. A simple model based on the coupling of the pump and the signal Gaussian beams in the cavity is developed. We then investigate the respective effects of the different experimental parameters on the output beam quality: radius of curvature of the mirrors, cavity length, crystal radius, pump-beam waist size, and spectral-tuning range of the signal beam. These calculations lead to the definition of the optimum configuration associated with a low M2 independent of the emitted wavelength. An experimental demonstration of that solution is given with excellent results: M2<1.5 is obtained, constant over 9° angular tuning.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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