On the use of photoelastic effect and plane strain or plane stress approximations for the description of thermal lensing

  • D. Bričkus
  • A.S. Dement’ev
Keywords: solid-state laser, thermal effect, photoelastic effect, plane strain, plane stress


Correct use of the photoelastic effect for the description of thermally induced refractive index change is discussed and the analytical relations between thermo-optic coefficients at zero stresses and zero strains are found for all classes of cubic crystals. These relations may be useful for the investigation of thermal effects in very promising sesquioxide class m3 laser crystals. An accepted set of elasto-optical coefficients of the YAG crystal and an alternative one found in the literature were used in numerical simulations. Significant differences in the calculated thermo-optic coefficients and induced birefringence are found using different sets of these coefficients. Misunderstandings related with the so-called photoelastic coefficients are resolved and new expressions for these coefficients are found. It is shown that the incorrect use of these coefficients for different pump beam distributions can lead to significant discrepancies for thermally induced birefringence. It is also shown that common use of the generalized thermo-optic coefficients significantly overestimates the values of optical power of thermal lenses when they are applied to the laser rods with lengths several times longer than their diameter.
Nonlinear and Coherent Optics