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OSE6526C- Laser Engineering Laboratory

Design and device implementation of diode pumped solid state lasers, nonlinear frequency conversion, Q-switching, mode locking, and pulsed second harmonic generation.

The goal of this course is to understand the fundamental issues in designing and building lasers. The course consists of a sequence of six inter-connecting experiments based on a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser. The experiments will be carried out in small groups (~3). In the lab sessions students will learn the practical aspects of handling optics, electronics, and diagnostics that are not usually in a classroom course. The stability and sensitivity of the laser operation on the resonator cavity mirror alignment will be evaluated. Nonlinear frequency conversion experiments will be performed to study phase matching and power dependence relations. Pulsed operation of the laser will be performed and its dependence on the laser medium gain dynamics will be analyzed.

During the course, the recording and treatment (error analysis) of data is addressed, and the importance of note-taking and its relevance to patent-filing and IP is discussed. Issues of Laser Safety are covered. Students are expected to provide a laboratory notebook, and the use of computers in the laboratory is encouraged. In addition, students will perform independent literature searches of the reference materials to find the correct explanations to their experimental findings. The course is suitable for first-time users of lasers, though students must have a thorough understanding of how they work. Participation is capped at 12 students, because of equipment and space limitations. Sessions are held one evening per week.


  • OSE6525 – Laser Engineering or Consent of Instructor

Suggested Reference Textbooks: (Optional)

  • Quantum Electronics, A. Yariv, John Wiley & Sons, 1989.
  • Laser fundamentals / William T. Silfvast, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • Laser resonators and the beam divergence problem / Yurii A. Ananev, Adam Hilger, 1992.
  • Laser electronics / Joseph T. Verdeyen, Prentice Hall, 1989.
  • The laser book: a new technology of light / Clifford L. Laurence, Prentice Hall, 1986.
  • CRC handbook of laser science and technology / editor, Marvin J. Weber, CRC Press, 1982
  • An introduction to lasers and masers / A. E. Siegman, McGraw-Hill , 1971
  • Laser devices and applications, edited by Ivan P. Kaminow and Anthony E. Siegman, IEEE Press, 1973
  • Lasers / Anthony E. Siegman, University Science Books, c1986

List of topics

  • The HeNe Laser
    • Gas laser principles. Basic resonator concepts. Resonator modes.
  • The Laser Diode
    • Handling precautions and properties. Use of laser diode as an optical pump.
  • The Solid State Laser
    • Properties of the gain medium. Resonator alignment and mode matching.
  • Nonlinear frequency conversion
    • The property of the nonlinear crystal. Intracavity second harmonic generation
  • Pulsed operation of the laser
    • Direct modulation of the pump laser diode
    • External cavity modulation
    • Intracavity modulation (Q-switching)
  • Pulsed second harmonic generation
  • Intensity dependence of the doubled frequency. Beam characteristics of the residual fundamental and second harmonic beams.