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Spie Press Book

The Physics and Engineering of Solid State Lasers
Author(s): Yehoshua Y. Kalisky
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Book Description

This text explains the mutual influences between the physical and dynamic processes in solids and their lasing properties. It provides insight into the physics and engineering of solid state lasers by integrating information from several disciplines, including solid state physics, materials science, photophysics, and dynamic processes in solids. The text discusses approaches to developing new laser materials and includes data tables of basic parameters that can be applied to laser design. Novel materials and techniques used in recent developments are also covered.

One reviewer said, "This is excellent. [Chapter 6] on photophysics is outstanding! Very well written and excellent equation derivation."


Book Details

Date Published: 28 March 2006
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9780819460943
Volume: TT71

Table of Contents
SHOW Table of Contents | HIDE Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations / xiii
Preface / xv
Chapter 1 Introduction / 1
1.1 Historical Background / 1
1.1.1 Early developments / 1
1.1.2 Technological developments / 2
1.2 Laser Materials / 3
1.2.1 Elements of a typical laser oscillator / 3
1.2.1.1 Gain medium / 4
1.2.1.2 The laser pumping unit and pumping methods / 4
1.2.2 Optics / 5
References / 6
Chapter 2 Solid State Laser Materials / 7
2.1 Properties / 7
2.1.1 Optics / 8
2.1.2 Material design / 8
2.1.3 Mechanical design / 9
2.2 Doping Ions / 11
2.2.1 Laser host materials / 13
2.3 General Properties of Hosts / 13
2.3.1 Optical properties / 13
2.3.2 Chemical properties / 14
2.3.3 Mechanical properties / 14
2.3.4 Thermal properties / 14
References / 15
Chapter 3 Structure and Bonding of Solids / 17
3.1 Crystal Structure / 17
3.1.1 Types of crystals / 18
3.2 Crystal Binding / 18
3.2.1 Van der Waals interaction / 19
3.2.2 Ionic bonding / 20
3.2.3 Covalent bonding / 22
References / 24
Chapter 4 Garnet Crystals as Laser Hosts / 25
4.1 Physical Characteristics of Garnets and Mixed Garnets / 27
4.2 Chromium- and Neodymium-Doped Garnets / 28
4.3 Disordered (Mixed) Garnets / 33
4.4 Glass and Crystalline Ceramics / 35
References / 40
Chapter 5 Fluoride Laser Crystals: YLiF4 (YLF) / 43
5.1 Thermal and Mechanical Properties of YLF / 43
5.1.1 Estimate of thermal load at fracture / 44
5.2 Nonradiative Losses in YLF / 50
5.3 Neodymium-Doped YLF / 51
5.4 Holmium-Doped YLF / 53
5.5 Thulium-Doped YLF / 54
5.6 Other Fluorides Crystals / 55
5.7 Cascade Emission / 57
5.8 Upconversion / 58
5.8.1 Applications to upconversion / 60
References / 62
Chapter 6 Photophysics of Solid State Laser Materials / 67
6.1 Properties of the Lasing Ion / 67
6.1.1 Absorption / 67
6.1.1.1 Homogenous and nonhomogenous broadening / 73
6.1.2 Spontaneous emission / 73
6.1.3 Stimulated emission / 74
6.1.4 Oscillator strength / 75
6.2 Nonradiative Transition / 79
6.2.1 Energy gap and temperature dependence of multiphonon
relaxation / 80
6.2.2 Temperature dependence of nonradiative relaxation / 88
References / 90
Chapter 7 Energy Transfer / 93
7.1 Introduction / 93
7.2 Radiative Energy Transfer / 93
7.3 Nonradiative Energy Transfer / 94
7.3.1 Basic mechanisms of energy transfer / 94
7.3.1.1 Resonant energy transfer / 94
7.3.1.2 Exchange interaction / 96
7.3.1.3 Phonon-assisted energy transfer / 97
7.3.1.4 Pathways of excited state relaxation / 98
7.3.1.5 Statistical model (Inokuti-Hirayama model) / 100
References / 103
Chapter 8 Lasing Efficiency and Sensitization / 105
8.1 Introduction / 105
8.2 Why Is Energy Transfer Needed? / 105
8.2.1 Examples of CTH-doped systems / 107
8.3 Temperature Effects / 108
8.4 The Effect of Tm3+ Concentration / 110
8.5 The Effect of Cr3+ Concentration / 113
8.6 Nature of Ionic Interaction / 113
8.6.1 Cr-Tm interaction / 113
8.6.2 Tm-Tm interaction / 114
8.6.3 Tm-Ho interaction / 116
8.6.4 Ho-Tm back interaction / 117
8.6.5 Selective energy transfer / 121
References / 122
Chapter 9 Two-Micron Lasers: Holmium- and Thulium-Doped
Crystals / 125
9.1 Introduction / 125
9.2 Advantages of the Holmium Laser / 127
9.2.1 Utilizing energy transfer / 127
9.3 Conventional Pumping / 128
9.3.1 CW laser operation / 128
9.3.2 Pulsed operation of holmium lasers / 130
9.4 Diode Pumping / 130
9.4.1 End-pumped 2 um lasers / 130
9.4.2 Side-pumped 2 um lasers / 136
References / 137
Chapter 10 Yb:YAG Laser / 141
10.1 Introduction / 141
10.2 End-pumping / 145
10.3 Side-Pumping / 147
10.4 Face-Pumping or Thin Disk Configuration / 149
References / 154
Chapter 11 More on Other Crystals: Fluorides and Vanadates / 157
11.1 Introduction / 157
11.2 Laser Crystals: YLF (YLiF4) and YVO4 / 158
11.3 Pumping Schemes / 158
11.3.1 Diode end-pumping of Nd:YLF / 161
11.3.2 Side-pumping of Nd:YLF / 164
11.4 Diode End-Pumping of Nd:YVO4 and Nd:GdVO4 / 166
11.4.1 Advantages and disadvantages of vanadate
crystals / 166
11.4.2 Q-switching and mode-locking operation / 176
References / 183
Appendix: Diode-Pumped Solid State Lasers / 189
A.1 Introduction / 189
A.2 Advantages of Diode-pumping / 189
A.3 Pumping Schemes / 191
A.4 Longitudinal Pumping / 191
A.5 Transverse Pumping / 194
A.6 Types of Diodes / 196
A.7 Temperature Control / 198
References / 200
Index / 201

Preface

The last decade has seen important technological developments in various aspects of solid state lasers and their applications. As a result, there has been a need in the scientific community to integrate several disciplines such as solid state physics, materials science, photophysics, and dynamic processes in solids to get a better insight into the physics and engineering of solid state lasers. This book is motivated by this need.

The main purpose of this text is to provide a detailed overview and understanding of the mutual influences between the physical and dynamic processes in solids and their lasing properties. This text provides detailed and comprehensive information about the physics of optical dynamics and energy transfer in solids and their effects on the properties of solid state lasers and laser materials. It analyzes the properties of rare-earth or transition-metal-ion-doped crystals, glasses, and ceramics, and the effect of crystal field perturbations on their spectral properties. It describes the factors influencing the development of new laser materials and discusses the various approaches and considerations for developing new materials, including relevant data tables of basic parameters intended to help with laser design. The text discusses material issues in a manner a laser engineer can comprehend and apply easily to the design of flashlamp and diode-pumped solid state lasers. Finally, the text also provides information about recent developments and technological advances in solid state lasers and photonics that use novel materials and techniques.

The book is based on my short course, "Novel Materials for Coherent Radiation and Frequency Conversion," presented during several Photonics West meetings in San Jose, California (U.S.A.) and the course "The Physics and Engineering of Solid State Lasers," presented during Photonics Europe in Strasbourg, France.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Professor Renata Reisfeld of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; Professor Georges Boulon of the University of Lyon in Villeurbanne, France; and Dr. Milan R. Kokta of Saint Gobain Crystals and Detectors in Washougal, Washington (U.S.A.), for their support and inspiration.

Last but not least, I would like to thank SPIE for promoting the idea of writing a book on this topic and Sharon Streams and Margaret Thayer for their valuable comments and patience.

Yehoshua Kalisky
Beer-Sheva, Israel
February 2006


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