Proceedings PaperComparison of compact visible laser technologies
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Technological advances in the field of compact visible laser sources are reviewed. Red laser diodes are considered first, and it is pointed out that they are visible to the human eye, but with a reduced brightness; these devices are expected to fall in price and play a major role in higher-density optical data-storage systems as well as bar-code scanners and laser printers. Diode-pumped solid-state lasers are then outlined, and direct diode doubling is discussed. Two major advances in this area, the availability of nonlinear materials and the availability of single longitudinal mode laser diodes with powers of 100 mW, are discussed. In the area of blue laser diodes, emphasis is placed on the material of choice ZnSe.