Optical Materials for Solid-State Laser Systems
This course will cover the fundamental physical processes of materials used in solid-state lasers. This includes optically active ions in insulating host materials and nonlinear optical materials. The necessary background in quantum mechanics, atomic spectroscopy, and group theory will be reviewed. Specific topics to be discussed include: Optical resonators, the principles of laser gain and oscillation; Origin of electronic energy levels for laser transitions, radiative transition strengths and selection rules, effects of electron-phonon and ion-ion interactions; Characteristics of specific laser systems including ruby, alexandrite, Ti-sapphire, Nd-YAG, Tm, Ho-YAG, Er-glass and others; Nonlinear optics; materials for frequency conversion, optical parametric oscillators, and Raman shifters.