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Introduction to Laser Technology, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-21948-5
288 pages
April 2012, Wiley-IEEE Press
Introduction to Laser Technology, 4th Edition (1118219481) cover image

The only introductory text on the market today that explains the underlying physics and engineering applicable to all lasers

Although lasers are becoming increasingly important in our high-tech environment, many of the technicians and engineers who install, operate, and maintain them have had little, if any, formal training in the field of electro-optics. This can result in less efficient usage of these important tools.

Introduction to Laser Technology, Fourth Edition provides readers with a good understanding of what a laser is and what it can and cannot do. The book explains what types of laser to use for different purposes and how a laser can be modified to improve its performance in a given application. With a unique combination of clarity and technical depth, the book explains the characteristics and important applications of commercial lasers worldwide and discusses light and optics, the fundamental elements of lasers, and laser modification.?

In addition to new chapter-end problems, the Fourth Edition includes new and expanded chapter material on:

  • Material and wavelength

  • Diode Laser Arrays

  • Quantum-cascade lasers

  • Fiber lasers

  • Thin-disk and slab lasers

  • Ultrafast fiber lasers

  • Raman lasers

  • Quasi-phase matching

  • Optically pumped semiconductor lasers

Introduction to Laser Technology, Fourth Edition is an excellent book for students, technicians, engineers, and other professionals seeking a fuller, more formal introduction to the field of laser technology.

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Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1 An Overview of Laser Technology 1

1.1 What are Lasers Used For? 2

1.2 Lasers in Telecommunications 3

1.3 Lasers in Research and Medicine 4

1.4 Lasers in Graphics and Grocery Stores 4

1.5 Lasers in the Military 5

1.6 Other Laser Applications 5

Chapter 2 The Nature of Light 7

2.1 Electromagnetic Waves 7

2.2 Wave-Particle Duality 10

Chapter 3 Refractive Index, Polarization, and Brightness 17

3.1 Light Propagation—Refractive Index 17

3.2 Huygens' Principle 21

3.3 Polarization 24

3.4 Polarization Components 27

3.5 Birefringence 30

3.6 Brewster's Angle 36

3.7 Brightness 41

Chapter 4 Interference 43

4.1 What is Optical Interference? 43

4.2 Everyday Examples of Optical Interference 45

4.3 Young's Double-Slit Experiment 46

4.4 Fabry-Perot Interferometer 49

Chapter 5 Laser Light 55

5.1 Monochromaticity 55

5.2 Directionality 56

5.3 Coherence 60

Chapter 6 Atoms, Molecules, and Energy Levels 63

6.1 Atomic Energy Levels 63

6.2 Spontaneous Emission and Stimulated Emission 65

6.3 Molecular Energy Levels 66

6.4 Some Subtle Refinements 64

Chapter 7 Energy Distributions and Laser Action 73

7.1 Boltzmann Distribution 73

7.2 Population Inversion 76

7.3 L.A.S.E.R. 79

7.4 Three-Level and Four-Level Lasers 82

7.5 Pumping Mechanisms 83

Chapter 8 Laser Resonators 87

8.1 Why a Resonator? 87

8.2 Circulating Power 88

8.3 Gain and Loss 90

8.4 Another Perspective on Saturation 91

8.5 Relaxation Oscillations 93

8.6 Oscillator-Amplifiers 94

8.7 Unstable Resonators 95

8.8 Laser Mirrors 95

Chapter 9 Resonator Modes 99

9.1 Spatial Energy Distributions 99

9.2 Transverse Resonator Modes 100

9.3 Gaussian-Beam Propagation 101

9.4 A Stability Criterion 107

9.5 Longitudinal Modes 109

Chapter 10 Reducing Laser Bandwidth 113

10.1 Measuring Laser Bandwidth 113

10.2 Laser-Broadening Mechanisms 116

10.3 Reducing Laser Bandwidth 118

10.4 Single-Mode Lasers 122

Chapter 11 Q-S witching 129

11.1 Measuring the Output of Pulsed Lasers 129

11.2 Q-Switching 135

11.3 Types of Q-S witches 135

11.4 Mechanical Q-Switches 135

11.5 A-0 Q-Switches 136

11.6 E-O Q-Switches 138

11.7 Dye Q-Switches 140

Chapter 12 Cavity Dumping and Modelocking 143

12.1 Cavity Dumping 143

12.2 Partial Cavity Dumping 147

12.3 Modelocking—Time Domain 147

12.4 Modelocking—Frequency Domain 151

12.5 Applications of Modelocked Lasers 152

12.6 Types of Modelocked Lasers 153

Chapter 13 Nonlinear Optics 155

13.1 What is Nonlinear Optics? 155

13.2 Second-Harmonic Generation 158

13.3 Birefringent Phase Matching 161

13.4 Quasi-Phasematching 165

13.5 Intracavity Harmonic Generation 168

13.6 Higher Harmonics 169

13.7 Optical Parametric Oscillation 170

13.8 Raman lasers 172

Chapter 14 Semiconductor Lasers 175

14.1 Semiconductor Physics 175

14.2 Modern Diode Lasers 181

14.3 Diode Laser Bandwidth 182

14.4 Wavelength of Diode Lasers 183

14.5 Diode Arrays and Stacks 185

14.6 Vertical Cavity, Surface-Emitting Lasers 185

14.7 Optically Pumped Semiconductor Lasers 187

14.8 Quantum Cascade Lasers 189

Chapter 15 Solid-State Lasers 191

15.1 Solid-State Laser Materials 191

15.2 Diode-Pumped Solid State Lasers 195

15.2.1 Diode-Pumping Geometry 199

15.2.2 Pump Diodes, Pulsing, and Packaging 199

15.3 Lamp Pumping 201

15.4 Thermal Issues in Solid-State Lasers 205

15.5 Scaling Diode-Pumped Lasers to High Power 207

Chapter 16 Fiber Lasers 215

16.1 Acceptance Angle and Numerical Aperture 215

16.2 Doping Optical Fibers 216

16.3 Pumping Fiber Lasers 217

16.4 Fabricating Optical Fibers 218

16.5 Feedback for Fiber Lasers 219

16.6 High Power Fiber Lasers 220

16.7 Large-Mode-Area Fibers 221

16.8 Holey Fibers 222

Chapter 17 Gas lasers: Helium-Neon and Ion 225

17.1 Gas-Laser Transitions 226

17.2 Gas-Laser Media and Tubes 227

17.3 Laser Excitation 229

17.4 Optical Characteristics 230

17.5 Wavelengths and Spectral Width 230

17.6 He-Ne Lasers 232

17.7 Principles of He-Ne Lasers 232

17.8 Structure of He-Ne Lasers 234

17.9 Ar-and Kr-Ion Lasers 235

Chapter 18 Carbon Dioxide and Other Vibrational Lasers 239

18.1 Vibrational Transitions 240

18.2 Excitation 242

18.3 Types of CO2 Lasers 243

18.4 Optics for CO2 Lasers 246

18.5 Chemical Lasers 246

Chapter 19 Excimer Lasers 249

19.1 Excimer Molecules 251

19.2 Electrical Considerations 253

19.3 Handling the Gases 255

19.4 Applications of Excimer Lasers 259

Chapter 20 Tunable and Ultrafast Lasers 263

20.1 Dye Lasers 265

20.2 Tunable Solid-State Lasers 268

20.3 Nonlinear Converters 271

20.4 Ultrafast Lasers 274

Glossary 283

Further Reading 291

Index 293

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C. Breck Hitz is Executive Director of LEOMA, the Laser and Electro-Optics Manufacturers' Association. He was the founding editor of Lasers & Applications magazine, and a former editor of Laser Focus World.

J. J. Ewing is the President of Ewing Technology Associates, Inc. His pioneering work on high-efficiency, ultraviolet lasers led to the discovery and development of the rare gas halide excimer lasers.

Jeff Hecht is a contributing editor to Laser Focus World and correspondent for New Scientist magazine. He was a cofounder and contributing editor to Lasers & Applications. Mr. Hecht is the author of ten books, including Understanding Lasers: An Entry-Level Guide (Wiley-IEEE Press).

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