Multimode pumping of optical parametric oscillators
Calculations suggest that optical parametric oscillators (OPO's) can be efficiently pumped using multimode, divergent pump sources. The influence of pump beam divergence and mode structure upon OPO performance is measured for both noncritical phase-matching, and OPO's with walkoff. Multimode OPO pumping is shown to be efficient, provided appropriate nonlinear crystals and OPO cavities are employed; the nonlinear crystal must have sufficient angular acceptance to tolerate a divergent pump; the OPO cavity must support modes that match the divergence and spatial intensity characteristics of the pump, For low-order pump modes, the OPO can be made to match the mode of the pump. Higher order pump modes reduce the OPO efficiency, and cause a saturation of efficiency with increasing pump power. The efficiency is degraded in a similar fashion in the presence of walkoff. Multimode pumping is more difficult in longer OPO cavities due to increased buildup time of higher order OPO modes.