Adaptive control of modal properties of optical beams using photothermal effects

Muzammil A. Arain, William Z. Korth, Luke F. Williams, Rodica M. Martin, Guido Mueller, D. B. Tanner, David H. Reitze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We present an experimental demonstration of adaptive control of modal properties of optical beams. The control is achieved via heat-induced photothermal actuation of transmissive optical elements. We apply the heat using four electrical heaters in thermal contact with the element. The system is capable of controlling both symmetrical and astigmatic aberrations providing a powerful means for in situ correction and control of thermal aberrations in high power laser systems. We demonstrate a tunable lens with a focusing power varying from minus infinity to -10 m along two axes using SF57 optical glass. Applications of the proposed system include laser material processing, thermal compensation of high laser power radiation, and optical beam steering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2767-2781
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2010


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