Photonics West 2022 in San Francisco
Starts Saturday
Course SC752

Solid State Laser Technology

Sunday, 23 January 2022 • 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM PST
Level: Intermediate
Member: $745.00
Non-member: $875.00
Student member: $425.00
This course provides an overview of the design, performance characteristics and the current state of the art of solid state lasers and devices. The course reviews the laser-relevant properties of key solid state materials, and discusses the design principles for flashlamp pumped and diode-pumped solid state lasers in cw, pulsed, Q-switched and modelocked operation. Solid state media emphasized include Nd and Yb-doped crystals but mid-IR materials such as Tm, Ho and Er-doped fluorides and oxides will be addressed as well. The course will cover the fundamental scaling laws for power, energy and beam quality for various geometries of the gain medium (rod, slab, disk, waveguide) and pumping arrangements (side and end-pumped) and provides an overview of the state-of-the art of solid state lasers. This includes a review of the design and performance of fiber lasers/amplifiers and their comparison to bulk solid state lasers. An overview of the state-of the art of optically pumped semiconductor lasers (OPSL) will also be given.

Important technical advances (such as diode pump developments) that allowed the technology to mature into diverse industrial and biomedical OEM devices as well as high power and scientific applications will be highlighted along with some remaining design and performance challenges. Topics also include nonlinear frequency conversion techniques, such as harmonic generation, Raman scattering and parametric processes, commonly used in solid state lasers to extend operation to alternative spectral regimes. The course includes an overview of currently available solid state laser products and their industrial and scientific applications.

Learning Outcomes

  • describe the significant laser-relevant properties of solid state laser materials
  • acquire an up-to-date overview of solid state laser materials, components, resonators and applications
  • assess how thermal properties limit power scaling and beam quality in practical laser systems
  • acquire the design criteria for solid state lasers in cw and pulsed operation
  • learn about the design methodology of Q-switched and modelocked lasers
  • compare the properties, advantages and limitations of different high power solid state laser configurations including fiber lasers/amplifiers
  • become familiar with design principles for solid state lasers with second and third harmonic generation
  • develop an appreciation of the scope, depth and pace of technical progress of the state-of-the art of solid state lasers in the UV, visible, IR and mid-IR wavelengths range


This course is intended for graduate students, engineers, scientists, technicians and managers working in solid state laser research or product development.


Norman Hodgson - Coherent, Inc. (United States)
Norman Hodgson is Vice President for Technology and Advanced R&D at Coherent, Inc.. He has more than 30 years experience in solid state laser design, optimization and product development. Previously held positions include Vice President of Engineering at Coherent (2003-2009), Director of Engineering at Spectra-Physics (1998-2003), Inc., Senior Laser Engineer and Program Manager at Carl Zeiss, Inc. (1992-1996) and various university positions. He received his PhD in Physics from Technical University Berlin in 1990. He is co-author of the book “Optical Resonators “(Springer-Verlag 1996) which went into a second edition as “Laser Resonators and Beam Propagation” (Springer-Verlag 2005). Dr. Hodgson has authored over 90 publications and conference presentations and is co-inventor on more than 25 issued and pending patents.