A treatise on miniature solid-state lasers

Dr. Welford co-authored the chapter on miniature solid-state lasers in the Handbook of Photonics (second edition) published by CRC Press in 2007. The introduction to the chapter reproduced below is reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

“This chapter presents fundamental concepts and formulas for designing and utilizing miniature solid-state lasers. Diode-pumped, miniature, monolithic, solid-state lasers offer an efficient, compact, and robust means of generating diffraction-limited, single-frequency radiation. In addition, their diminutive size results in high-speed tuning capabilities and short-pulsed operation unmatched by larger devices. Applications areas are as diverse as communications, spectroscopy, remote sensing, nonlinear optics, projection displays, and micromachining. The text is structured to provide adequate background for those readers who are new to the area. Sections 2 — 4 present a broad introduction to laser parameters and modeling, gain media, and resonators. Section 5 discusses the interactions in the gain media that determine spectral purity and presents methods for controlling the frequency of a laser. Section 6, contains a thorough review of issues specific to various modes of pulsed operation. There is a detailed discussion of Q-switching which presents analytic results of detailed temporal modeling. Passive Q-switching is discussed in considerable detail, reflecting the relative importance that passively Q-switched miniature lasers have obtained in recent years.

Although the presentation in this chapter is tailored specifically toward miniature solid-state lasers, the concepts are generally applicable to other classes of lasers. A section entitled Further Information has been included at the end of the chapter to help direct the interested reader to references on other laser types.”

Reprints of the chapter are available from Endeavour Laser Technologies upon request.