STP954

    Retrofit of a High Power Nd:Glass Laser System with Liquid Crystal Polarizers

    Published: Jan 1986


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    Abstract

    The glass development laser (GDL), has been operating at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics since 1978. This Nd:phosphate glass system produces high peak power optical radiation at λ = 1054 nm or λ = 351 nm for use in studying the interaction physics of intense laser beams with matter. The amplifier staging incorporates the propagation of linearly and circularly polarized light in rod amplifiers which vary in diameter from 16 mm to 90 mm. Numerous quartz or mica quarter waveplates and Brewster angle dielectric thin film polarizers are required to limit accumulated phase retardation between amplification stages, and to accommodate interstage Pockels' cell isolation switches.

    We have recently replaced most of the waveplate-dielectric polarizer combinations in GDL with liquid crystal polarizers. Comprised of 11 μm thick cholesteric fluids sand-wiched between optical quality glass plates, liquid crystal polarizers provide excellent polarization properties, low insertion loss, angular insensitivity, and laser damage resistance at λ = 1054 nm.

    The design, fabrication and performance of left-handed and right-handed circular polarizers will be discussed.

    Keywords:

    cholesterics, circular polarizers, liquid crystals, Nd:glass laser, optical isolators, polarizers, selective reflection


    Author Information:

    Jacobs, SD
    University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

    Cerqua, KA
    University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

    Kessler, TJ
    University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

    Seka, W
    University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

    Bahr, R
    University of Rochester, Rochester, New York


    Paper ID: STP23101S

    Committee/Subcommittee: F01.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP23101S


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