50.Quantum Electronics by John G. Webster (Editor)

By John G. Webster (Editor)

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For narrower linewidths, Fabry–Perot interferometers are used between the prism beam expander and the grating. A Fabry–Perot interferometers consists of two parallel, highly reflecting mirrors with a constant separation between the mirrors. Either air-spaced or solid interferometers (etalons) made of a single piece of fused silica glass, and coated with dielectric material for reflectivity Ͼ85%, are used in pulsed dye lasers. When placed in the path of a collimated beam, they exhibit a series of closely spaced spectrally narrow passbands (Fig.

Pulsed laser pumped dye lasers are capable of providing the best combination of high peak power (ȁ several megawatts), repetition rate (10 Hertz to several kilohertz), and minimum linewidth that is limited by the Fourier transform of the pulse (2,4–6). Short-duration (several nanoseconds to a few tens of nanoseconds), pulsed lasers, such as nitrogen lasers, excimer lasers, copper vapor lasers, and fundamental and harmonic outputs of Q-switched solid-state lasers, are used as pump sources. Because of high intensity of the pump lasers, larger resonator losses than for CW lasers can be tolerated, making these lasers much simpler to set up and use.

Finally, the last term in Eq. (5), with σ σ τN S ≡ 0 12 σ0p Ip τ + 1 describes a nonlinear loss arising out of absorption of two laser photons by molecules from S0 and subsequently from S1 (13). This nonlinear loss due to ESA turns out to be important at shorter wavelengths in the gain spectrum where the absorption from S0 and hence ␴0 increases. When the round-trip gain in the cavity is sufficient to compensate for cavity losses arising out of mirror transmissions, absorption, scattering, diffraction at apertures, and losses at other optical elements inside the cavity, laser oscillation sets in and an intense directed laser output is obtained.

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